By Helene Elliott
2:40 PM EDT, June 26, 2013
The injuries just kept coming Wednesday at Wimbledon, increasing to seven the number of withdrawals or retirements by players during matches.
In addition to injury-related withdrawals by No. 2 women’s seed Victoria Azarenka and No. 10 men’s seed Marin Cilic, sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France had to retire while trailing Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, two sets to one, because of a problem with his left leg. And 2011 Wimbledon women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, the No. 8 seed, advanced because of an injury to opponent Yaroslava Shevedova of Kazakhstan.
No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova of Russia, who slipped on the grass court three times and was upset by unseeded Michelle Larcher de Brito in straight sets, afterward took the high road and declined to blame the unfriendly court for her early exit.
“I don’t think I’ve ever fallen three times in a match before. That was strange but not an excuse,” Sharapova said in a televised interview.
“All the credit to her. She played extremely well from start to finish.”
Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon men’s champion, was upset by qualifier Dustin Brown of Germany, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2.
But several other key matches at Wimbledon did go according to form.
No. 2 men’s seed Andy Murray of Great Britain defeated Yen-Husn Lu of Taiwan, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5, and No. 17 women’s seed Sloane Stephens of the U.S. defeated Andrea Petkovic of Germany, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 8-6.
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