Wimbledon 2019: Sharapova retires late in match giving Parmentier win

Day Two: The Championships - Wimbledon 2019
Day Two: The Championships - Wimbledon 2019

Maria Sharapova was again troubled by an injury that caused her to abruptly retire from the action at the Championships Wimbledon Tuesday. A game before Pauline Parmentier was to win the first round in three sets, the former world number one called it a day citing a left wrist injury to give the 33-year-old a pass in what ended a 4-6, 7-6(4), 5-0 match on Court Two at the All England Tennis Club.

The Russian was back for vengeance after a disappointing start to the 2018 tournament. A continuing injury caused the former world number one and Wimbledon champion to underperform and skip tournaments during the season.

She gave it a shot in her first trip to Mallorca but faced Angelique Kerber who was unwilling to go easy on the 32-year-old. With her facing the French veteran, Sharapova would need to dive deep for her best or give Parmentier first advance in eight years.

Sharapova got the start she wanted needing the victory on deuce but denying Parmentier any AD point chances. The Frenchwoman leveled the score but fell behind two straight with Sharapova gaining the break in the fourth.

Parmentier broke back but it was the last she would get for free in the set. When they returned to service, the Russian superstar adjusted her strength and waited till the tenth when she went for the opening taking three set points before closing out the first in 47 minutes.

Despite having four double faults that gave her opponent breaks, the Russian dominated on the first serve winning 11 of 13 and 10 of 16 when returning on the second serve. Keeping the unforced errors low was enough to get her into place and vie for a straight sets scenario.

The 33-year-old opened the second stanza with a break keeping Sharapova back from forcing deuce. Sharapova answered with a break back to show that she was not going to get off track. When she consolidated the break in the third the focus was well in hand for the 32-year-old to march forward. Parmentier briefly tied things with Sharapova before the former world number one inched away slowly taking the next two with a double break in her grasp.

She tallied a third straight but couldn’t get the job done with another break as Parmentier held. She made a statement in the ninth drawing errors from Sharapova to make it 5-4 with a shot at forcing the set deep.

For Parmentier, it was exactly where she wanted the match to go and with Sharapova committing more double faults, the more opportunities she earned. It was 6-5 for the French veteran as Sharapova struggled with the serve to find herself going the distance.

Parmentier had a smooth start to the 12th on serve but getting the set put away was made difficult by Sharapova’s aggressive returns that forced deuce. Errors from her end only made it harder to close it out on her terms as the Russian got the second AD point to set up the tiebreak. The 33-year-old got the jump on Sharapova with great finishes where she found her spot to hit the ball in an open part of the court.

Sharapova stopped her opponent’s short surge of points to get on the board but struggled to stay in play when Parmentier was returning so well. The French star slowly moved into position for the win as Sharapova started gaining points.

When it was 6-4, Parmentier put an end to the set that took 64 minutes to complete pushing the former number one to play on. Before she did, the 32-year-old called the for the trainer taking a medical timeout to tape up her left wrist.

When the match resumed, Parmentier served to open the deciding set and held back a fight from Sharapova to lead. It was soon 3-0 for the French star when the Russian once again called out the physio to treat her wrist that was causing her discomfort.

When two more games were won by Parmentier, Sharapova knew that there was no hope of coming back and chose to call it quits a game short of the full match. The two stars shook hands giving Parmentier her first advancement since 2011.

It was a 2 hour and 17-minute battle that saw the end coming for the Russian and hope for more success by Parmentier. With the sudden victory, she would prepare for a Thursday matchup in the second round to come against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

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Edited by Rahul Arun
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