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Sharapova sent packing by Dulko

June 24, 2009 21:08 IST

Former champion Maria Sharapova had her lack of match practice exposed by unseeded Argentine Gisela Dulko, who claimed a nailbiting 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory in the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Sharapova, ranked 60 after suffering with a shoulder injury but given a special seeding of 24 here, had battered Dulko for the loss of three games in two previous meetings.

But the Russian struggled to find an answer to the world number 45's scurrying array of groundstrokes and changes of pace in the sunshine on Centre Court.

Dulko, one of the few women on tour to have a Wimbledon singles victory over Martina Navratilova to her name, sealed the opening set in 35 minutes with a crunching forehand winner.

Sharapova's frustration grew in the second as Dulko raced to a 3-0 lead but the Argentine suffered a temporary meltdown and her opponent raced back into contention with a run of seven straight games.

The two exchanged breaks in the decider before Dulko stayed calm to seal victory on a nerve-wracking fifth match point and set up a third-round contest against Russian 10th seed Nadia Petrova.

 

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