Sharapova’s defiance ended by Kerber

Maria Sharapova was out-gunned by Angelique Kerber in a gripping Centre Court shoot-out as Wimbledon glory again eluded the former champion.

Germany's Angelique Kerber in action against Russia's Maria Sharapova.

When Russian Sharapova landed the title as a 17-year-old in 2004, with a brilliant victory over Serena Williams, she was fancied to go on and become a multiple winner.

She has yet to add a second title, and a 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-4 defeat to left-hander Kerber, who matched the power of Sharapova and finally prevailed on her seventh match point, put paid to her chances this year.

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“It’s unbelievable,” Kerber said. “It was such a tough match played on a really high level and it was so close, every set was so close, so I’m just happy I won.”

German Kerber faces a quarter-final against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard today.

The bottom half of the draw has been taken over by a Czech contingent, and 27-year-old Lucie Safarova moved into her first career grand slam semi-final with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

The result guaranteed a Czech finalist, as she next plays 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova who beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Simona Halep and Sabine Lisicki came through in very different circumstances to set up an appealing last-eight clash.

Third seed Halep overwhelmed Kazakh Zarina Diyas on Court Two, clinching a 6-3 6-0 victory in 57 minutes.

As the highest-ranked player remaining in the event, following the exits of Serena Williams and Li Na, great things are expected of the 22-year-old from Constanta, a tourist city on the Black Sea coast.

German Lisicki had a three-set win over Russian-born Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova on Court Three.

Serving at 1-1 and break point down in the deciding set, Lisicki called for the trainer to attend to a shoulder problem.

It led to a lengthy delay as the troublesome area was massaged and Lisicki, who served a staggering 20 double faults over the contest, went on to hold from her precarious position and earned a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win.