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.