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De Brito stuns Sharapova
World No. 2 Maria bows out in straight sets; Wozniacki, Ivanovic lose London (Agencies): Former Wimbledon champion and third seed Maria Sharapova...
World No. 2 Maria bows out in straight sets; Wozniacki, Ivanovic lose
London (Agencies): Former Wimbledon champion and third seed Maria Sharapova slid to a shock second-round exit on Wednesday when she was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito. The tall Russian, who won the grasscourt grand slam in 2004 as a 17-year-old, slipped over a couple of times during the match and received lengthy treatment after a particularly nasty fall in the seventh game of the second set.
Even before the tumble, which was very similar to the one that ended up forcing second seed Victoria Azarenka to withdraw with a knee injury, Sharapova was outplayed by the world number 131 who sealed victory on her fifth match point when her opponent netted a forehand. Sharapova's exit came hours after the withdrawal of second seed Azarenka, who called for Wimbledon officials to investigate why the courts were so slippery after several players suffered falls, and their departure opens up the bottom half of the draw.
After claiming victory the 20-year-old de Brito clearly had some sympathy for her opponent. While being treated in the second set after the tumble that left her clutching her hip, Sharapova appeared to complain to the umpire that the surface was "dangerous". She went off court to continue treatment and resumed after a near 10-minute stoppage but the Russian, who seemed to struggle with her serve in an all-round error-ridden performance, could not avoid one of her worst results at the All England Club.
With ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki and 12th seed Ana Ivanovic both losing the lower half of the women's draw is now seriously short of big names. Wozniacki was the latest player left spread-eagled on the slippery All England Club turf as she limped out of Wimbledon following a 6-2, 6-2 second-round defeat by Czech Petra Cetkovska. The Dane looked set to suffer the same fate as she took a tumble after skidding over while chasing down a backhand in the fourth game of the match.
It led one spectator on Court Two to comment "they are falling like flies here" as Wozniacki called for the overworked Wimbledon trainer to attend to her stricken ankle. After applying some spray and strapping to her ankle and foot, a grimacing Wozniacki hesitantly returned to the baseline and promptly dropped her serve. As the right-handed ninth seed struggled to put any pressure on her left ankle as she went through her service motion, another observer described her as a "half-lame Wozniacki".
What was clear was that the Dane wanted the ordeal to be over sooner rather than later and Cetkovska obliged by finishing off the match in 75 minutes. The Czech will next face either rising American hope Sloane Stevens or germany's Andrea Petkovic. Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard picked up the biggest victory of her career at Wimbledon, beating 12th-seeded Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, 6-3 6-3 to reach the third round.
The 66th-ranked Bouchard, who is 19, won the girls' title at the All England Club a year ago. Playing in only her second Grand Slam tournament, Bouchard wound up on Centre Court because her match against Ivanovic was moved there after second-seeded Victoria Azarenka withdrew with a knee injury, leaving a gap in the schedule. Already leading 5-3 in the first set, Bouchard took 12 of 13 points to close that set and go up a break in the second.
In eight previous Wimbledon appearances, Ivanovic only once had failed to reach the third round. Meanwhile, Britain's hope Andy Murray marched into the third round at The Championships with a straight sets win over Yen-Hsun Lu, the man who beat him at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.