Sharapova had been a finalist in three of the last four Grand Slams, and arrived at Wimbledon on a high after winning the French Open for the first time last month.
But the top seed came back down to earth with a bump on Court One as German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki avenged last year’s Wimbledon semi-final defeat against the Russian with a 6-4 6-3 fourth round victory.
“She did many things better than I did and you have to hand it to her,” said Sharapova.
“She played very well. I could have done things differently but not on this particular day.”
Lisicki had lost in the first round of her last four tournaments, but she has hit form at the right time and the 22-year-old’s reward is a last eight meeting with compatriot and eighth seed Angelique Kerber.
“It’s just unbelievable. I’m so happy. I had lost the last three meetings with her, so it’s nice to finally win one,” Lisicki said. “I just went for my shots out there. I felt great, it’s my favourite tournament. “I’m fighter and I fight to the last game. I think I’m getting better with each match.” Kerber demolished Kim Clijsters 6-1 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
Such a humbling defeat was a cruel way for Belgium’s Clijsters to say her Wimbledon farewell as the four-time Grand Slam winner prepares to retire after the US Open. American sixth seed Williams narrowly avoided the same fate as Sharapova as she dug deep to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1 2-6 7-5 on Court Two.
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