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Angelique Kerber holds nerve to knock out Maria Sharapova

by Ron Atkin
Tuesday 1 July 2014
The massacre of the leading seeds in the Ladies’ Singles continued with the exit of the fifth-rated Maria Sharapova, beaten 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 by Germany’s Angelique Kerber in a pulsating Centre Court encounter of two  hours 37 minutes in which the Russian saved six match points before self-destructing with her 49th unforced error, a backhand which flew beyond the baseline.
 
So, on the 10th anniversary of the Wimbledon final when a 17-year-old from Siberia via Florida knelt in a mix of delight and disbelief at defeating the hot favourite Serena Williams, that teenager who has grown into the most famous superstar in women’s sport will find it difficult to believe that she did not celebrate that anniversary by marching into this year’s quarter-finals.
 
Instead, she gave away more than 12 games’ worth of free points to an opponent who realised very early that if she kept on retrieving and returning, which she does magnificently, eventually the point, the game and then the match and the glory would be hers.
 
The third seed Simona Halep is the only one of the top five still standing, followed by Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion at No.6 and then Kerber herself as No.9.
 

More to follow.

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