Sharapova: I just wasn’t there
Originally published on: 26/06/13 00:00
The defeat was Sharapova’a first loss to a player ranked outside the top 20 since falling to then-No.27 Angelique Kerber at the Paris Indoors 17 months ago.
The world No.3 refused to blame the grass for the loss but did admit the number of times she fell was a ‘little strange’.
“I think it was a combination of everything,” said the four-time Grand Slam champion. “I give [my opponent] a lot of credit. I think she played extremely well today. She was really solid from the baseline. I don't feel like I was aggressive enough, that I hit the ball deep enough. I wasn't ready after the returns or the serves. She's someone that plays extremely aggressive. I just wasn't there.
“I don't think I've ever fallen three times in a match before in my career, so that was a little strange,” the Russian added. “But that's certainly not an excuse. I think today I've seen a lot of players fall and take a few hits and a few injuries. So I think that's just part of the game, part of what we have to deal with.”
Sharapova’s loss was just one of a number of standout results on a day that saw fellow seeds Victoria Azarenka (walkover), Caroline Wozniacki (l. to Petra Cetkovska), Ana Ivanovic (l. to Eugenie Bouchard), Jelena Jankovic (l. to Vesna Dolonc), Sorana Cirstea (l. to Camila Giorgi) and Lucie Safarova (l. to Karin Knapp) exit the tournament also.
“It's frustrating,” Sharapova concluded. “You certainly don't want to lose matches, I mean, whether it's early or late. As I've said, this tournament is extremely special, and it's definitely tough to lose. But I'm going to keep my head high about it because there's no other way, and try to find the positives out of what I have today and my career, set new goals, and just keep moving forward.”
The victor, 20-year-old Larcher de Brito, who clinched the win on her fifth match point, was 0-3 against top five opponents before today.
“It was really nerve_ѥwracking,” said the qualifier. “I just gave it my all. I kind of thought, now or never. I tried to stay calm, even though it's hard sometimes. I just gave it my all, like I always do, and it turned out good.”
Next up for Larcher de Brito is Karin Knapp, who upset Lucie Safarova in three sets.