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.
23 August 2016
You can recognise your favourite tennis players when they're on the court, but what about ... More
7 December 2017
After calling time on his 2017 season with an elbow injury in July, Novak Djokovic is look... More
29 May 2019
"Life is busy,” says Mary Pierce, flashing the radiant smile that made her a fan favour... More