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Federer, Sharapova crash out on black Wednesday

  • Published at 06:49 pm June 27th, 2013
Federer, Sharapova crash out on black Wednesday

Seven-time winner Roger Federer and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova suffered humiliating Wimbledon defeats on an injury-cursed black Wednesday which turned the All England Club upside down. Defending champion Federer, the third seed, lost to Ukraine’s world number 116, Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in his worst Grand Slam defeat for a decade. Sharapova, the third seed, slumped to a shock 6-3, 6-4 loss to Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito, the world 131. The defeats came just two days after Rafael Nadal had exited in the first round. They also occurred on a day when the famed grass-courts of Wimbledon came under fire after seven players either withdrew or retired with injuries. Women’s world number two Victoria Azarenka and men’s sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were amongst the casualties which eased the title paths of Serena Williams and Andy Murray. Federer’s defeat ended his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances, having not gone out of a major before the last eight since the 2004 French Open. It was his earliest Wimbledon defeat since he was knocked out in the first round in 2002 by Mario Ancic. The following year he lost in the first round of the French Open to Luis Horna. “I’m still in disbelief that it actually happened,” 27-year-old Stakhovsky said. Federer, who will be 31 next month, said: “I won’t panic. I will go back to work. This wasn’t supposed to happen but I will be back next year.” Sharapova’s defeat out on Court Two came after she fell on three occasions and needed a medical timeout to treat a painful left hip.