Maria Sharapova’s dream of winning a second Wimbledon title is over, at least for another year.
Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier was leading 4-6 7-6(4) 5-0 when a left arm injury forced Sharapova to retire from their first-round match.
It marks the first time the 32-year-old Russian has retired mid-match in her 248 Grand Slam matches.
“I’ve had a history of a tendon in my left forearm flaring up,” a disappointed Sharapova explained.
“It happened today in the second set. It’s very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle of the match. That certainly means that it’s painful.”
Maria Sharapova: Tendon in left forearm, an injury she’s had before, flared up in the second set. Very disappointed.
"It's kind of a tricky injury. I haven't really gotten a really good clarification from anyone that I've seen on what really causes it.” #Wimbledon
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 2, 2019
Sharapova was contesting only her fifth tournament of the season, and second since January, after struggling with a shoulder injury. It has seen the former world No.1’s ranking slip from No.29 at the beginning of the season to No.80.
“I got myself to a good enough place to be part of this event, not be out of the draw,” the Wimbledon 2004 champion said. “But it was obviously not the way that I wanted to perform here.”
Sharapova was one of four Grand Slam singles champions eliminated in the opening round on day two of The Championships.
Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia upset 26th-seeded Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-4. It is the Wimbledon 2017 champion’s earliest exit at a Grand Slam since 2014.
Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro defeated former US Open champion Sam Stosur 6-2 7-5, while Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck overcame two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Wimbledon 2014 finalist Eugenie Bouchard was also among the high-profile casualties, losing to Slovenian Tamara Zidansek.
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