Sharapova loses in Wimbledon 4th round
World No.1 Maria Sharapova has crashed out on a dramatic Magic Monday at Wimbledon.
While titleholder Petra Kvitova and four-times champion Serena Williams survived three-set scares to set up a blockbuster quarter-final, Sharapova is heading home after falling 6-4 6-3 to 22-year-old German Sabine Lisicki.
All 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round matches were scheduled on a bumper program and it didn’t take long for one of the game’s biggest drawcards to bow out.
A surprise semi-finalist as a wildcard last year, the 15th-seeded Lisicki delivered a spectacular encore to blow Sharapova away.
It was all over in 84 minutes as the powerhouse German unleashed a second-serve ace on her third match point to remove the 2004 winner and newly-crowned French Open champion.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Lisicki said.
“I’m just so happy. I’ve lost my three previous meetings to her, but I just went for my shots and from the first point I felt great out there.
“It’s my favourite tournament. I love playing on grass, I love the crowd out here so I just love it.”
After reaching the final last year, Sharapova’s shock defeat leaves the Russian in danger of relinquishing her top ranking to Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
The second-seeded Belarusian thumped Serb 14th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-1 6-1 to book a date on Tuesday with Austrian Tamira Paszek, a 6-2 6-2 winner over Italian Roberta Vinci.
Lisicki, meanwhile, moves on to a quarter-final against eighth-seeded compatriot Angelique Kerber, who ruthlessly ended the retiring Kim Clijsters’ Wimbledon career with a 6-1 6-1 mauling of Belgium’s former world No.1.
Williams earlier needed almost two hours to shake off Kazakh sensation Yaroslava Schvedova 6-1 2-6 7-5 to advance to her 10th Wimbledon quarter-final.
Williams sent down a Wimbledon-record 23 aces to edge past China’s Jheng Jie in the third round and needed 12 more to see off the streaky Shvedova.
The 65th-ranked Schvedova had been the talk of the tournament after becoming the first woman ever to win all 24 points in a set during her third-round rout of French Open runner-up Sara Errani.
But despite fighting gamely Shvedova eventually came unstuck with two double-faults at 5-5 in the deciding set.
Kvitova awaits the sixth-seed Williams on Tuesday after the Czech staged her own fightback to beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 4-6 7-5 6-1.
Williams beat the then-unseeded Kvitova 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the 2010 Wimbledon semi-finals before going on to win her 13th grand slam title.
But the 30-year-old remains stranded one major shy of fellow American great Pete Sampras’s 14 and is desperate to break the drought.
“I haven’t played her for a while. I’m looking forward to it,” Williams said.
“I’ve got nothing to lose. Bottom line, I know I can play better. If I couldn’t, that would be a problem.”
Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska had a much smoother ride to the last eight, the Pole outclassing Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3.
Radwanska is yet to drop a set this campaign and next faces Russian Maria Kirilenko for a semi-final spot.
Kirilenko beat China’s Peng Shaui 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to qualify for the last eight for the first time.© AAP 2013
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