Maria Sharapova meets her match in Lisicki
Maria Sharapova's remarkable resurgence has come to a shuddering halt at Wimbledon after she was bundled out of the fourth round in emphatic fashion by Sabine Lisicki.
Riding high at the top of the rankings after completing the career Grand Slam in Paris last month and with her injuries woes behind her, Sharapova was hot favourite to raise her second Venus Rosewater Dish this weekend.
However, the German quickly put that idea to bed as she smashed her rival out of the contest, advancing to the quarter-finals 6-4, 6-3 where she’ll meet compatriot Angelique Kerber, who stunned four-time major winner Kim Clijsters 6-1, 6-1.
“It is just unbelievable. I have lost my three previous meetings with her,” Lisicki said. “I just went for my shots. I am a fighter too and I fight to last point. I’m getting better with each match.”
The world No.15 had Sharapova on the back foot early, forcing her into a string of uncharacteristic errors, and did not let up until she had gained revenge for her semi-final defeat to the Russian last year.
Lisicki, who had complained about her second-round opponent Bojana Jovanovski’s grunting, was forced to endure Sharapova’s constant shrieks, but kept her focus to break decisively in the 10th game of the first set.
A 30-minute rain delay held up her progress but she broke again early in the second before closing the match out with an ace.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams is confident she can go up a gear for her quarter-final clash with defending champion Petra Kvitova, despite struggling to see off Kazakhstan wild card Yaroslava Shvedova.
The American’s form so far at the All England Club has been as temperamental as the British weather, never more so on display than against ‘golden set’ girl Shvedova as she mixed the sublime with the ordinary in her 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 victory.
But the four-time winner said: “I’m not tired so I feel good. I feel like I can play so much better than what I have been playing.” Kvitova set up the blockbuster last eight encounter by coming from a set down to beat Italian Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.