London: Maria Sharapova’s hopes of celebrating the 10th anniversary of her Wimbledon triumph with a sequel ended in a defeat in the hands of Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the fourth round on Tuesday.
“I always consider myself one of the favourites because I’ve won Grand Slams before; have been No. 1 one in the world,” said Sharapova after the match.
“It’s absolutely normal for people to have high expectations of me doing well in Grand Slam stages. Its normal for them to expect me to win. I certainly do, as well. Today could have gone either way, and things didn’t go my way.”
Sharapova looked to have seen off the early danger when she broke back to force a tie-break in the first set, but three backhand errors in a row saw her give it away.
“It’s unbelievable,” Kerber said. “It was such a tough match, playing to a high level, and it was so close. I’m so happy. She’s a great player on grass, but I was just focusing on myself and I’m so happy to be in the quarters.”
Sharapova added: “I had a really slow start in the third. She rode with that confidence. It was just a few points in the end of that. Maybe things would have been different if I had won that game, but in the end I didn’t.”
Former Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport said: “Sharapova was the favourite to win the title after Serena Williams lost, but as the match progressed it was clear that Kerber was going to be a huge challenge.
“What surprised me was how well Kerber was able to manage her service games. She was only broken three times in the entire match over long sets and she moved so well around the court.
“Apart from her run to the final in 2011, Sharapova has not played so well here in the last few years, so it was not a huge shock to see her lose.” (Agencies)