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Sharapova bundled out in last eight

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:29

The Russian three-time grand slam champion, who is playing in her first singles event since last August because of a shoulder problem, has slumped to 126th in the world rankings.

She came through her first two tests this week but eighth seed Bondarenko proved too strong, the Ukrainian triumphing 6-2 6-2.

Sharapova said: “I have to give Alona all of the credit she deserves. When she was up, she played really solid and rode it out until the end.

“I felt my shots were too short and I wasn’t patient enough. On clay you have to be patient and wait for your opportunities.

“I’m happy with the way I played here, though. Obviously no one likes to lose but I’ve spent about three or four hours competing on the court this week and that’s what I needed.

“I’m very thankful for the wild card I got from the tournament.”

Bondarenko will face Anne Keothavong in the last four after she became first British woman for 26 years to reach the semi-finals of a WTA clay-court event today.

The 25-year-old, who has yet to reach a WTA Tour final, breezed past Romania’s Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-0 6-1.

In the other semi-final, sixth seed Daniela Hantuchova will meet Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru. Slovakian Hantuchova needed three sets to overcome Klara Zakopalova 6-3 4-6 6-4 while Dulgheru was a 6-1 7-5 winner against Galina Voskoboeva.

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