Maria Sharapova crashes out of Wimbledon at second round stage
World No.3 beaten by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito
De Brito ranked 131 in the world and has not progressed further than third round at grand slam
Maria Sharapova suffered a shock defeat in the second round at Wimbledon Wednesday after being beaten by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito.
Third seed Sharapova, who won the tournament in 2004, was brushed aside 6-3 6-4 by a player ranked 131 in the world.
The Russian appeared to be unhappy with the conditions of the grass court and fell during the second set and appeared to tell the umpire that “this court is dangerous.”
But after receiving treatment for her fall, she was unable to stave off one of the biggest Wimbledon upsets in recent years.
“I just tried to stay calm,” Larcher De Brito told the BBC.
“I was playing so well I thought I could keep it up and I just hung in there. She’s a fighter, she just wouldn’t give up for anything.
“There’s lot of grass that’s been cut and not been swept up so there’s a lot of dead grass so it’s not been easy. It’s a tough court to play on.”
Sharapova slipped and fell on Court Two on a couple of occasions and needed a time out to receive treatment to her left hip after the eighth game of the second set.
“It was a combination of everything,” World No. 3 Sharapova told the BBC.
“I give her a lot of credit, she played extremely well today, really solid from the baseline, I don’t think I was aggressive enough. I just wasn’t there.”
When asked about the slippery nature of the court and her comment about the surface being dangerous, she added: “I don’t think I’ve ever fallen three times in a match before in my career, so that was a little strange.
“Well, after I buckled my knee three times, that’s obviously my first reaction.”
Sharapova also believes that players should be entitled to practice on the main courts in order to prepare for the tournament.
She added: “The first few days, you just know that they’re going to just be really different.”
The victory is De Brito’s greatest yet with this win representing the first time she has beaten a player ranked inside the top five.
The 20-year-old, who will play Karin Knapp of Italy for a place in the last 16, has never progressed past the third round of a grand slam.
De Brito courted controversy in 2009 when she was criticized for her fierce shrieking and her form suffered as a result following mocking by fans.
But encouraged by her father, Antonio, who also doubles up as her De Brito’s coach, she bounced back with the love and help of her family.
“If you lose enough times, you think, What am I doing? That’s where my family stepped in and helped me get pumped up,” she said.
“I’ve been working extra hard in these practices, giving 120% in practices. My dad really pushed me a lot.
“When I was 16 I was in the top 100 and everybody was comparing me to Martina Hingis, expecting me to win a Grand Slam at that age.
“But that doesn’t happen anymore, winning Grand Slams so young. Tennis is so competitive now and so hard, it’s hard to stay there.
“I can’t say enough good things about my father because he helped me a lot. It’s easy to lose motivation. But with these wins, it’s definitely going to help.”
Elsewhere, ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki crashed out following a 6-2 6-2 defeat by Czech Petra Cetkovska, while former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic was beaten by 2012 junior champion Eugenie Bouchard.
The Canadian prevailed 6-3 6-3 on Centre Court and will play Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in the next round.
Monica Puig is through to the third round where she will play Czech Eva Birnerova.
Puig, 19, built on her first round win over fifth seed Sara Errani by defeating Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-2 5-7 6-4.
U.S star Sloane Stephens defeated Andrea Petkovic of Germany in three sets, winning 8-6 in the decider.