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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wednesday Wipeout: Federer, Sharapova suffer shock defeats

Wednesday Wipeout: Federer, Sharapova suffer shock defeats

Last updated on: June 27, 2013 13:50 IST

Federer exits on 'the craziest day ever'

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Wimbledon king Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova endured jolting second-round losses to opponents outside the world top 100 in a freakishly dramatic 'Wednesday Wipeout' that saw seven players withdraw injured and the draw shredded.

After a day of slips and slides, strained shoulders and aching knees, seven-times champion Federer was expected to glide serenely above the mayhem around him when he stepped out on Centre Court to play Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Three hours later on what former champion John McEnroe called "the craziest day ever" the Swiss great's dream of an eighth title was over.



Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland speaks to members of the media during a press conference
Photographs: Thomas Lovelock/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images

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'First you play Roger Federer, then you play his ego'

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Playing old-school serve and volley tennis the like of which was supposed to have gone out of fashion, the 27-year-old world No.116 won 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) to snap third seed Federer's streak of reaching 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals.

"I'm still in disbelief," Stakhovsky said. "I played the best tennis I have ever played. When you play Roger Federer it's like your're playing two persons.

"First you play Roger Federer, then you play his ego. I couldn't play any better today. It was a fantastic day for me."

For once, Federer's box of tricks could not rescue him and there was an "end of era" feel as the 31-year-old walked into the Centre Court shadows to a standing ovation.

"It's normal that after all of a sudden losing early after being in the quarters 36 times, people feel it's different," Federer, who suffered his earliest Wimbledon defeat since a first-round loss in 2002, defiantly told a news conference.

"Usually I do turnarounds pretty good. I'm looking forward to what's to come. I hope I can play a good summer."


Image: Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine shakes hands at the net with Roger Federer of Switzerland after their match
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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'I don't think I've ever fallen three times in a match before'

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Third-seed Sharapova was sent across the grounds to the bowl-like Court Two to face Portuguese firebrand Michelle Larcher de Brito and found the 131st-ranked qualifier too hot to handle as she slipped and slid to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat.

Sharapova needed a 10-minute injury timeout after one of several falls left her clutching her hip and at one stage was overheard describing the court surface as "dangerous."

"I don't think I've ever fallen three times in a match before in my career, so that was a little strange," the Russian former champion told reporters.



Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia speaks to members of the media
Photographs: Chris Raphael/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images

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Tsonga did not blame the surface

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Second seed Victoria Azarenka, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and even Steve Darcis, man-of-the-moment after his opening day victory over Spaniard Rafa Nadal, were among the casualties as the medical bulletins piled up.

Tsonga did not blame the surface for a knee injury that forced him to stop against Latvian Ernests Gulbis while Czech veteran Radek Stepanek also had to quit with a hamstring injury while trailing Poland's Jerzey Janowicz.

Spare a thought for Darcis.

Two days after easily the biggest win of his career over Nadal, the 29-year-old's tournament ended with a whimper as the shoulder he hurt in a fall against the Spaniard made it too painful to face Poland's Lukasz Kubot.

Even American marathon man John Isner was struck down.

The 18th seed played 183 games to beat Nicolas Mahut in a record-breaking epic in 2010 but lasted only two before his knee buckled and he quit against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.


Image: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France shakes hands with Ernests Gulbis of Latvia after retiring from their match
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Bouchard gets the better of Ivanovic

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Eugenie Bouchard caused a minor upset beating the 12th-seeded Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round. 

The 19-year-old Canadian, ranked 66th, broke the Serbian's serve on five occasions and kept the former French Open champion off-balance using deep returns. 

"I stayed relaxed," said Bouchard. 

"I had broken her a few times, so I knew I could do it again."


Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada waves to the crowd as she celebrates her win over Ana Ivanovic (inset)
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Wozniacki was also dumped out

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Women's ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki also fell heavily on Court Two in her defeat by Czech Petra Cetkovska while second seed Azarenka did not even start against Italy's Flavia Pennetta due to the knee injury she suffered in a first-round tumble.

"I don't know if it's the court or the weather," the Belarusian told reporters. "I can't figure it out it.

"Would be great if the club or somebody who takes care of the courts would examine (it)."


Image: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reacts during her Ladies' Singles second round match against Petra Cetkovska of Czech Republic
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Hewitt shown the door

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Dustin Brown upset Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

The 2002 chmpion was overwhelmed by Brown's aggressive strokes and unorthodox stile of play. 

"He's very unpredictable out there," Hewitt explained. "It's tough," he added. 


Image: Lleyton Hewitt of Australia reacts during a break in his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Dustin Brown
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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