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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:29 UK

Sharapova edged out in thriller

Date: 22 June - 5 July
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD, Red Button, website streaming (UK only) and text commentary, 5 Live, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC iPlayer
Tennis on the BBC

Gisela Dulko

Highlights - Sharapova loses tense decider

By Ian Westbrook
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova fell to a disappointing second round defeat, losing 6-2 3-6 6-4 to unseeded Gisela Dulko.

Dulko opened up a 3-0 lead and took the first set quickly and enjoyed a similar lead in the second before Sharapova began her fightback.

She won seven games in a row to level the match and lead 1-0 in the third.

Both players were broken before Dulko earned the decisive advantage in the seventh game and she broke again to win in a shade over two hours.

Dulko had no problems in the first set which she took in 35 minutes and she seemed set for a rapid victory when she was 3-0 up in the second.

Sharapova held her serve and then gained the initiative when two errors from Dulko at 3-1 gave her two break points.

She took the first one when the Argentine netted for her first break of the match and suddenly took control.


The Russian immediately produced a love service game to level the set and then broke the Argentine again to move 4-3 ahead before holding serve again to win her fifth consecutive game.

Dulko battled hard in the next game but Sharapova finally levelled the match with her fourth set point.

Sharapova rattled through her first service game of the decider to make it seven-in-a-row before Dulko finally held and then broke after successfully challenging a call to lead 2-1.

It was hard to pick the winner as Sharapova immediately hit back to break back and hold and regain the lead before Dulko held her own serve.

The crucial game was the seventh when a Sharapova double fault gave Dulko three break points. She took the first when the Russian netted to open up a 4-3 lead and then held to move within a game of victory.

Sharapova bravely held her own serve but Dulko was in control, although she showed her nerves before finally getting over the line.

She wasted four match points before Sharapova finally went long and she was able to celebrate a famous victory in two hours 13 minutes.

To beat Maria who is a past champion here is a great day for me

Gisela Dulko

The crowd gave her a standing ovation as she celebrated reaching the third round at Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career.

Afterwards the 24-year-old told BBC Sport: "That was the biggest win of my career. It has come in the most important tournament for me and to beat Maria who is a past champion here is a great day for me.

"I just didn't play very good in one game and knew the risk with these kind of players that they go through the match very quickly. She took her chance and I didn't play very well in the second set

"I was really nervous at the end and really wanted to finish there and not go to 5-5.

"The crowd was fantastic with me and I am really thankful and hope they will be there for the next match."

Sharapova was philosophical, saying: "It was unfortunate the timing of this being only my fourth tournament since the injury but that is just the way it is.

"Just being here is a wonderful accomplishment and I had the pleasure of playing on Centre Court again.

"I enjoy every single minute of this event. The losses are tough, more here than at any other tournament.

"It is tough to put the injury out of your mind completely."

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see also
Sharapova v Dulko as it happened
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Sharapova battles past Kutuzova
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Wimbledon day three as it happened
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Federer & Djokovic make progress
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Verdasco squeezes past Vliegen
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Superb Serena powers past Groth
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Murray laments British failings
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Bogdanovic faces wildcard threat
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Keothavong crashes out of doubles
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Order of play
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26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
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Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis

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