Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova knocked out of Wimbledon in first round

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Two-time champion Petra Kvitova and former winner Maria Sharapova both suffered surprise defeats in the first round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Maria Sharapova was knocked out in the first round  by world number 132 and fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko.

It was Sharapova’s first ever defeat in the opening round at the All England Club and it came as she made her return to the tournament after a three-year absence.

She went down 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 having led by a set and 5-2.

Diatchenko, who came through qualifying, will face Sofia Kenin of the United States for a place in the last 32.

Eighth seed Kvitova never looked comfortable against world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, who won 6-4 4-6 6-0.

Kvitova has now gone out before the quarter-finals in five of her six Grand Slam appearances since returning to action after the stabbing that left her with severe lacerations to her playing hand in 2016.

“I’m sad. I wanted to win very badly, maybe too much. The nerves were there again. I just tried to kind of fight with myself,” she said.

“I was the biggest opponent I could have. I didn’t really have a clear mind. I was thinking a little bit too much.

“Probably at Wimbledon it’s a little bit more than the other Grand Slams because obviously I know I can play well.

“But it is how it is. I think the worst pressure is in the first rounds, second rounds, and third rounds. After that it’s fine.”

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