Maria Sharapova’s bid to end her long wait for a second Wimbledon crown came crashing to a halt on Monday, while Kim Clijsters’ final appearance at the grass-court grand slam also finished in round four.
World No. 1 Sharapova lost her rematch with Sabine Lisicki, who she beat in last year’s semifinals before losing the title match.
Sharapova won the event as a 17-year-old in 2004 to announce herself as a new star in women’s tennis, but the defeat by Petra Kvitova 12 months ago is the closest she has come to a repeat success in London.
German 15th seed Lisicki powered past her Russian opponent to win 6-4 6-3 and set up a last-eight clash with eighth-seeded compatriot Angelique Kerber, who thrashed former No. 1 Clijsters 6-1 6-1 in just 49 minutes.
It is the first time that two German women have made it to the second week of the tournament since 1995, when Steffi Graf won the title for the sixth time and Anke Huber lost in round four.
Sharapova, who won the French Open last month after losing in January’s Australian Open final, struggled after going 3-1 down in the opening set and a 45-minute rain delay did not help her get back into rhythm.
Four-time grand slam champion Clijsters, who has never got past the semifinals at Wimbledon, could not get going against Kerber — who fired 19 winners to 10, and just five unforced errors to the Belgian’s 13.
Clijsters, 29, will retire for the second time following September’s U.S. Open, a tournament she has won three times.
In the other half of the Wimbledon draw, four-time winner Serena Williams will face defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals after both battled through with three-set victories.
Williams, seeking her first grand slam title since 2010, triumphed 6-1 2-6 7-5 against Kazakhstani Yaroslava Shvedova out on Court Two.