Sharapova stunned, Roddick routed in Wimbledon upsets

June 27th, 2008 - 5:41 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 27 (DPA) 2004 champion Maria Sharapova was slammed with the worst loss of her Wimbledon career in a 6-2, 6-4 second-round ambush by fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva Thursday. Two-time men’s finalist Andy Roddick, tasted a similar bitter defeat as he went out to Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) for his earliest All England Club defeat.

Number 154 outsider Kudryavtseva literally jumped for joy on the grass after profiting at the expense of ragged third seed Sharapova in a shocker lasting less than 90 minutes.

Sharapova, her form suspect throughout, left memories of her teenaged triumph at the All England Club well in the past as she committed 22 unforced errors and set up her opponent’s match point with an eighth double-fault.

“It wasn’t my day, she just did everything better than I did,” said the third seed. “She played much better, she hit the ball harder. She served and returned better.

“On grass, you know those are two important elements. She had nothing to lose. She went for her shots. I was just pretty tentative.”

Kudryavtseva drove a cross-court winner past the reigning Australian Open champion to duplicate her Roland Garros showing of 2007.

Sharapova lost twice in Wimbledon fourth rounds, the previous earliest defeats for the three-time Grand Slam champion.

“Losses are all disappointing, obviously,” said Sharapova, now with an enforced holiday until the American hardcourts begin for her next month.

“A loss is a loss. There’s only one winner in the tournament and everybody else is disappointed - I’m one of them.”

Kudryavtseva converted on her victory chance after learning from a wasted opportunity a year ago against Venus Williams, when she won the opening set against the eventual champion.

Williams, seeded seventh due to lack of play this season, found herself working hard in the first before finally conquering the last Brit standing, Anne Keothavong, 7-5, 6-2.

“After the first two games I was definitely feeling good, but no match is predictable,” she said of a contest lasting one hour, 40 minutes.

“I like to have it go my way and I’m glad that it did go my way, but that’s not necessarily exactly how I planned it.”

Koethavong put pressure on the seventh seed but was able to convert on just one of 11 break chances while losing her own serve four times.

Williams needed more than an hour to secure the first set against the number 92.

Serb second seed Jelena Jankovic defied the stress that her number one compatriot Ana Ivanovic had to suffer in a nail-biting win 24 hours earlier, as she crushed Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro with 6-1, 6-3 ease.

Fifth seed Elena Dementieva fought back to beat Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 but 10th-seeded 2002 quarter-finalist Daniela Hantuchova lost to Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

Two-time men’s finalist Rafael Nadal saw off a potential threat from Latvian Ernests Gulbis, with the Spaniard earning a 5-7, 6-2, 7- 6 (7-2), 6-3 win.

“I’m very happy with this win today for sure,” said Nadal. “I know I had a very tough opponent. It’s an important win for me.”

Nadal received an early start so that he could gather with his group at their rented home for the Euro 2008 semi-final between Spain and Russia, with the winner to face Germany Sunday.

“Win, only win,” was the keen fan’s prediction.

German tennis rose to the occasion on another sunny day with a victory hat-trick from a trio of experienced hands.

Old stager Rainer Schuettler, 32, produced a surprise knockout of patchy American ninth seed James Blake 6-3, 6-7 (8-10), 4-6, 6-4, 6- 4.

He was joined by 30-year-olds Tommy Haas and Nicolas Kiefer in the third round.

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