First-round exits for Sharapova and Muguruza

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Maria Sharapova of Russia competes during the women's singles first round match with Pauline Parmentier of France at the 2019 Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Britain, July 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

LONDON (Reuters) – Former champions Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza crashed out of Wimbledon in quick succession on Tuesday as big-name casualties continued to pile up.

Russian Sharapova, who ignited her money-spinning career by winning the title in 2004, was trailing 4-6 7-6(4) 5-0 to Pauline Parmentier of France when she retired injured.

The 32-year-old former world number one, now ranked 80, only returned from a right shoulder injury last month, although the problem this time was with her arm.

“I’ve had a history of a tendon problem in my left forearm and it flared up in the first set,” she told reporters.

“This is not easy. I got myself into a good enough place to be part of this event and this is not what I wanted.”

It was her second successive first-round exit at Wimbledon.

Spaniard Muguruza, champion two years ago, was knocked out 6-4 6-4 by Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The 26th seed looked a shadow of the powerful player who beat Venus Williams to claim the title as she was outplayed by her 121st-ranked opponent.

Defeat continued a barren spell for the 25-year-old who has not been past the fourth round in any of the last five Grand Slam tournaments.

Yesterday, Victoria Azarenka thrashed Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 6-0 in the second round to continue her impressive start at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The Belarussian produced an aggressive display to overpower her opponent and set up a possible third-round clash with Simona Halep.

Azarenka’s progress since returning to tennis two years ago following the birth of her son Leo has been steady.

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