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Sharapova, other top players fall, withdraw at Wimbledon

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    =Maria Sharapova of Russia gets up after slipping on the court during her Women's second round singles match against Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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LONDON >> Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of Wimbledon by a 131st-ranked qualifier on a day when injuries forced the withdrawal of seven other players.

The third-seeded Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion in 2004 champion, lost 6-3, 6-4 to Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal in the second round at the All England Club.

It’s the second significant upset of the tournament, which is only in Day 3. Two-time men’s champion Rafael Nadal was beaten on Monday by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis.

Sharapova slipped and fell several times on the grass on Court 2 and received medical treatment from the trainer in the second set.

The women’s tournament also lost second-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who withdrew before her match with a knee injury. Sharapova and Azarenka had been considered the main challengers to five-time champion Serena Williams.

Also pulling out with injuries were 10th-seeded Marin Cilic (left knee) and 2006 quarterfinalist Radek Stepanek (left hamstring).

In all, seven players were knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday by withdrawals or mid-match retirements, believed to be the most in one day at a Grand Slam tournament in the 45-year Open era.

Sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was among the players departing on Day 3 at the All England Club.

Also out: Steve Darcis, the man who stunned Rafael Nadal in the first round; John Isner, who won the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon in 2010; 10th-seeded Marin Cilic; 2006 quarterfinalist Radek Stepanek; and Yaroslava Shvedova.

The International Tennis Federation said it believed the previous high total for one day at a major tournament was five, which happened on the first day of competition at Wimbledon last year, June 25.

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