London: Former Wimbledon champion and third seed Maria Sharapova slid to a shock second-round exit on Wednesday when she was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito.
The tall Russian, who won the grasscourt grand slam in 2004 as a 17-year-old, slipped over a couple of times during the match and received lengthy treatment after a particularly nasty fall in the seventh game of the second set.
Even before the tumble, which was very similar to the one that ended up forcing second seed Victoria Azarenka to withdraw with a knee injury, Sharapova was outplayed by the world number 131 who sealed victory on her fifth match point when her opponent netted a forehand.
Sharapova's exit came hours after the withdrawal of second seed Azarenka, who called for Wimbledon officials to investigate why the courts were so slippery after several players suffered falls, and their departure opens up the bottom half of the draw.
After claiming victory the 20-year-old de Brito clearly had some sympathy for her opponent.