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More injury woe for Sharapova as former champion withdraws from Wimbledon

The Russian retired from her first-round tie with a right arm injury.

Sharapova receives treatment before retiring.
Sharapova receives treatment before retiring.
Image: Bradley Collyer

FORMER CHAMPION MARIA Sharapova was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round on Tuesday, raising more questions about her future in the sport.

The 2004 champion retired with a right arm injury in the final set of her tie with Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier who claimed a 4-6, 7-6 (7/), 5-0 win.

Sharapova, now ranked at 80 in the world, served for the match in the second set but then needed treatment on her arm.

The 32-year-old had only returned to the tour in Mallorca last month after five months out to recover from shoulder surgery.

There were no such problems for seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams as she moved into the second round on Tuesday with a hard-fought 6-2, 7-5 win over Italian qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone.

The 37-year-old American, who if she wins Wimbledon will share the record with Margaret Court of 24 Grand Slam titles, eased through the first set.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Two - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Serena Williams powered through. Source: Victoria Jones

However, she had a far tougher battle in the second set against the Italian, who was making her Wimbledon debut, and who broke Williams’s serve when the American served for the match at 5-3.

Williams spent a lot of the time chastising herself but eventually closed out the match breaking Gatto-Monticone’s serve.

Williams, whose sister Venus crashed out on Monday losing to teenage sensation Cori Gauff, said despite her laboured performance the knee injury that has affected her season had not given her any trouble.

“It is the best I have felt since February,” she said.

“I pretty much had to skip the hard court season and missed a couple of clay tournaments.

“I am better now, I feel happy now that I get to play with my baby.” 

© – AFP 2019

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