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Sharapova: Stars are there to be shot at
Maria Sharapova bowed out of Wimbledon and claimed her defeat proves that no-one on the tour is bulletproof.
The top seed, fresh from winning the French Open, looked in fine touch throughout last week and seemed to be warming to the challenge of landing a second Wimbledon title. But while her enthusiasm never cooled, she was beaten in straight sets by heavy-hitting German Sabine Lisicki on a damp and drizzly Court One.
"I don't think it's a lesson for the players, I think it's a lesson for the storylines," she said when asked about the shocks happening in 2012.
"We never really underestimate any opponent. If people are to be considered favourites for matches and tournaments, we will have these storylines."
Sharapova rarely looked like winning at any point, and was eventually condemned to a 6-4 6-3 reverse.
Lisicki's powerful hitting and precision serving gave Sharapova little chance to get into the match and the pre-tournament favourite's serve was broken four times in all.
Sharapova was happy to hand her the credit for the win too, although she also took some comfort from her own achievements over the European swing of the tour - with her Roland Garros title the highlight.
"She played extremely well and did many things better than I did on this given day," she said. "But I am really proud of what I have achieved. Obviously, as tough as it is after a loss, you try to take away as many positives as you can."
The win marked a successful revenge mission for Lisicki, who lost to Sharapova at the semi-final stage last year.
"When I took the first set, it obviously gave me more confidence. As soon as I got the break in the second set, I knew I was going to take it home," Lisicki said.