LONDON (Reuters) - A solemn Maria Sharapova trudged out of Wimbledon on Thursday after a second round defeat by fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.
The third seed’s 6-2 6-4 defeat on Court One made it her worst showing at a grand slam for five years when she lost in the second round of the 2003 U.S. Open.
All the hype surrounding her new outfit seemed completely out of place after an insipid performance that was more tatty jeans than shiny tuxedo.
After serving eight double faults and missing the kind of balls she normally eats for breakfast during an insipid, passionless display, Sharapova was blunt.
“She just did everything better than I did. She played much better. She hit the ball harder. She served and returned better,” the 2004 Wimbledon champion told reporters.
“I can’t be really happy about anything today. It just went a little too fast to analyse it right now.
“I wasn’t playing my game. I was letting her take control of the majority of the points.”
Sharapova, who began the year by winning the Australian Open, suffered a disappointing fourth round exit at the French Open to Dinara Safina.
That Paris defeat may have been tough to take but to lose to a player ranked 154th in the world who had won just five matches all year before Wimbledon was a huge shock.
“A loss is a loss. There’s only one winner in the tournament and everybody else is disappointed, so I’m one of them,” added Sharapova, who said she was determined to come back and win the tournament that rocketed her to fame.
“There are a lot worse things. I still have the desire, even 30 minutes after the match, to go back on court and to get better, because that’s the only thing that’s going to get me to hold that plate again.”
Sharapova’s defeat, and the narrow escape for top seed and world number one Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday at least proves the women’s game cannot be accused of being predictable.
“I’ve always said there’s depth on the tour,” Sharapova said. “Everybody can present a challenge. Everybody has a lot of strength. Everybody is hungry. This girl that beat me today, she might not win the tournament but she beat me and it probably made her tournament.”
Editing by Clare Lovell
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