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It's all Sharap-over for big two


Maria Sharapova. Picture: REUTERS/Chris Raphael

Maria Sharapova. Picture: REUTERS/Chris Raphael

Maria Sharapova. Picture: REUTERS/Chris Raphael

The two players seen as posing the biggest threats to defending champion Serena Williams bowed out of Wimbledon yesterday as Maria Sharapova lost and Victoria Azarenka was defeated by injury.

In a stunning afternoon upset on Court Two, Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito knocked out third seed and former champion Sharapova.

Larcher de Brito won 6-3 6-4 against the Russian, who was impeded by what appeared to be a hip injury after falling awkwardly.

And second seed Azarenka did not make it as far as her scheduled Centre Court date with Italian Flavia Pennetta, as the knee injury she sustained in a first-round victory over Maria Joao Koehler on Monday caused her to pull out.

"It is very tough," Azarenka said. "I could not be any more disappointed."

The 2011 champion Petra Kvitova was the beneficiary of a withdrawal, as Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan failed to show for her appointment with the Czech due to injury.

Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark's former world number one, managed to carry on after suffering a foot problem early in her match against Kvitova's compatriot Petra Cetkovska.

But Wozniacki, with her movement affected, was well beaten, going down 6-2 6-2, and it was clear she put the result largely down to her injury.

"When you can't play at 100 per cent, it's difficult. It's frustrating because you feel like you have some momentum. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. I can play well on the grass," Wozniacki said.

"There's not really much you can do about those things."

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard knocked out Serbian 12th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-3, and Puerto Rican Monica Puig followed up her first-round win over fifth seed Sara Errani by ousting Spain's Silvia Soler Espinosa 6-2 5-7 6-4. American Sloane Stephens beat Andrea Petkovic after a long battle, coming through 7-6 (7/2) 2-6 8-6 against the German.