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Sunday 17 December 2017

Kerber beats Sharapova in a classic

Brilliant German Angelique Kerber scored an inspired Wimbledon victory over Maria Sharapova to extinguish the Russian's hope of winning back-to-back grand slam titles.

In a gripping Centre Court clash between two of the hardest-hitting women in tennis, left-hander Kerber took her seventh match point to seal a 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-4 victory and earn a quarter-final shot at Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

In the wake of Serena Williams losing in the third round, French Open winner Sharapova had been installed by many as a champion-in-waiting, but Kerber was not distracted by such talk as she won a Centre Court classic.

Kerber had led 5-2 in the deciding set and when Sharapova broke back the momentum appeared to be with the 27-year-old, who won her one Wimbledon title as a 17-year-old a decade ago. But in almost no time Kerber had three match points at love-40 against her opponent's serve, having failed to take a first chance to seal the win earlier in the set.

She could not take any of the three, and two more passed her by in the same game as Sharapova clung on in desperate hope of survival. t would be seventh time lucky though.

Sharapova powered a forehand into the net to present Kerber with the opening.

And when Sharapova then lashed a backhand long on the next point, up went Kerber's arms in a moment of exaltation.

French Open runner-up Simona Halep breezed into the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

The third-seeded Romanian needed just 57 minutes to beat the 72nd-ranked Diyas, who was playing at Wimbledon for the first time.

Her next opponent will be 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki of Germany, who overcame shoulder trouble to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours.

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