Sharapova tumbles out, Kvitova into semis
TENNIS

Sharapova tumbles out, Kvitova into semis

Maria Sharapova's hopes of regaining the Wimbledon title came to an end with a fourth-round defeat to Angelique Kerber.

Sharapova had been viewed as the favourite to win the title she captured as a teenager in 2004 following the third-round exit of Serena Williams, but succumbed to a 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 defeat to German Kerber.

The Russian had barely been tested in the opening three rounds - losing a total of just seven games - however, she quickly fell behind as Kerber took the first set.

Kerber - a semi-finalist in 2012 - failed to carry that momentum into the second as a resilient Sharapova forced a decider.

But there was to be no stunning comeback for Sharapova who - despite saving six match points - suffered a disappointing exit from the tournament, with her 49 unforced errors proving pivotal to her downfall.

World number seven Kerber is joined in the quarter-finals by compatriot Sabine Lisicki after last year's beaten finalist survived a scare against Yaroslava Shvedova to win  6-3 3-6 6-4.

Lisicki appeared set for a potential shock exit when she controversially called for the trainer for treatment on her shoulder while facing break point at 1-1 in the third.


The world number 19 appeared reinvigorated after that break, however, and eventually saw off the Kazakhstani in a decider that featured five breaks of serve.

Simona Halep will be Lisicki's opponent in the last eight after she dismantled another player from Kazakhstan, hammering Zarina Diyas 6-3 6-0.

Halep - defeated by Sharapova in the French Open final last month - needed just 57 minutes to wrap up victory and keep her hopes of becoming the first Romanian to win a grand slam for 36 years very much intact.

Meanwhile, in the quarter-finals Petra Kvitova's quest to recapture the title goes on following a 6-1 7-5 success over Czech compatriot Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova.

After overcoming Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki to reach her first grand slam quarter-final, Zahlavova-Strycova was unable to bridge the gulf in class between herself and the 2011 champion, who chalked up 29 winners to secure a last-four meeting with fellow countrywoman Lucie Safarova following her 6-3 6-1 demolition of Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

Makarova had beaten fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the quarter-finals, but lasted only 58 minutes in this encounter as 23rd seed Safarova claimed four of her seven break points in a clinical showing to qualify for her first grand slam semi.

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