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Wilting Maria Sharapova may still be suffering from effects of ban

Russian’s first-round defeat at Wimbledon was a big surprise but she has shown few signs since returning from her 15-month ban that she will add to her grand slam tally

Whither Maria Sharapova? Of all the upsets so far at this year’s Wimbledon, the exit of the 2004 champion in the first round late on Tuesday night almost slipped under the radar, happening, as it did, while England were making it through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

In tennis terms, though, the 31-year-old’s loss raised more than a few eyebrows. Her 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 defeat by Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia was the first time she has gone out in the first round here and world No 138 Diatchenko was the lowest-ranked player she has lost to at a grand slam since she was beaten by No 154 Alla Kudryatseva of Russia in the second round here in 2008.

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