Federer, Sharapova ousted at Wimbledon

LONDON — Andy Murray stayed on his feet Wednesday on a day that featured shocking injuries and the earliest loss for Roger Federer in more than a decade at his treasured Wimbledon Championships.

Murray, losing finalist a year ago to Federer, beat Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.

Sergiy Stakhovsky shocked seven-time champion Federer, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), to end a phenomenal streak of 36 appearances to at least the quarterfinal level.

Federer saved a match point as he fought for survival in the fourth set but was felled in a tiebreaker after saving a match point, sending a backhand out.

An unprecedented seven players were injured or did not play on the day at a championships marred by increasing complaints about what are being labeled dangerous conditions on the slick grass.

With no rain yet clogging the program, play was continuous — but became hazardous — for seven unlucky injury victims in an unprecedented day at the grand slam, marring its perceived perfection.

“The withdrawals have occurred for a variety of reasons, but there has been some suggestion that the court surface is to blame. We have no reason to think this is the case,” a club statement read.

“Court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years, and it is well known that grass surfaces tend to be more lush at the start of an event. The factual evidence is that the courts are almost identical to last year, as dry and firm as they should be, and we expect them to continue to play to their usual high quality.”

Australian Bernard Tomic later withdrew from doubles with a leg injury but will try to play on in singles.

The injury list and the laments about the state of the courts started with women’s second seed Victoria Azarenka, who withdrew with a bone bruise on her knee after a Monday fall.

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion, advanced as Yaroslava Shvedova withdrew before their match. Russian third seed Maria Sharapova took a loss as well as a serious sliding fall to exit against Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito, 6-3, 6-4, with Sharapova treated off court in the second set.

On television, the Russian could be seen telling the chair umpire: “This court is dangerous.”

“After I buckled my knee three times that is obviously my first reaction, but those are the conditions for my opponent as well,” Sharapova said later.

“I took a lot more falls than her today. I’ve noticed a few more players falling than usual. But the first days are always a bit like that. I don’t think I’ve seen as many falls, though, as I have in the last two years.”

Eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki lost, 6-2, 6-2, to Petra Cetkovska after going down heavily on her ankle early in the match.

“I slipped on the match point in my first match, too. I don’t know if it’s the courts or if it’s just us, or if it’s the gripping is different,” said the former WTA number one Wozniacki.

“You always know grass is more slippery than other surfaces. You’re prepared for that. But accidents happen sometimes on court. It’s part of sports.”

In men’s play, Ernests Gulbis advanced when sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quit with a knee tendon injury trailing 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Croatian 10th seed Marin Cilic cited a knee as well for his pullout before a match with Kenny De Schepper, and US player John Isner lasted only two games before a dodgy knee sent him home.

Steve Darcis could not follow up on his upset of Rafael Nadal in the first round as the Belgian withdrew due to a shoulder injury received in the Nadal match, handing a win to Lukasz Kubot. Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz reached the third round when Radek Stepanek retired trailing 6-2, 5-3.

In other results, Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard knocked out 12th seed Ana Ivanovic, 6-3, 6-3, while American Sloane Stephens beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany 7-6 (7-2), 2-6, 8-6.

In men’s play, German-Jamaican Dustin Brown eliminated 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, and broke down in tears afterward, following years of grinding on the Challenger circuit.

“I’m just happy and emotional and everything,” Brown said.


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