Sharapova crashes out, Serena, Kvitova survive

World number one Maria Sharapova crashed out of Wimbledon on Monday, while four-time winner Serena Williams and defending champion Petra Kvitova survived major scares to reach the quarter-finals.

Sharapova had been a finalist in three of the last four Grand Slams, and arrived at Wimbledon on a high after winning the French Open for the first time last month.

But the top seed came back down to earth with a bump on Court One as German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki avenged last year's Wimbledon semi-final defeat against the Russian with a 6-4, 6-3 fourth round victory.

"I certainly had chances. I didn't take them, but I think a lot of the credit goes to my opponent," Sharapova said.

"She played extremely well and did many things better than I did. You just have to hand it to her."

Lisicki had lost in the first round of her last four tournaments, but she has hit form at the right time and the 22-year-old's reward is a last eight meeting with compatriot and eighth seed Angelique Kerber.

"It's just unbelievable. I'm so happy. I had lost the last three meetings with her, so it's nice to finally win one," Lisicki said.

"I just went for my shots out there. I felt great, it's my favourite tournament. I'm fighter and I fight to the last game."

Kerber demolished Kim Clijsters 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Such a humbling defeat was a cruel way for Belgium's Clijsters to say her Wimbledon farewell as the four-time Grand Slam winner prepares to retire after the US Open.

"I won't be sorry about anything," Clijsters said. "I know that every time I've played here I've given my best.

"Some days it's good, some days it's great, and some days it's not good enough."

American sixth seed Williams narrowly avoided the same fate as Sharapova as she dug deep to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.

Serena looked set to cruise through as she took the first set in emphatic fashion, but Kazakh wildcard Shvedova has been in superb form, winning all 24 points and dropping none in a Golden Set against Sara Errani in the previous round, and she responded impressively to force the American to a final set.

Williams, also taken to three sets by Zheng Jie in the previous round, showed why she is a 13-time Grand Slam champion as she finally subdued her gritty opponent to set up a fascinating last eight clash with Kvitova.

"Drama again! I love the drama." Serena said. "I knew the whole time I could play better, but I feel fine. I'm not tired.

"I feel it's going good. The bottom line is I can play so much better than I am. If I couldn't do better that would be a problem. You know me, I'm never satisfied."

Kvitova, who defeated Sharapova in last year's Wimbledon final to clinch her first Grand Slam title, had cause for concern in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Italian 24th seed Francesca Schiavone.

Schiavone was in control after taking the first set, but lost her cool and the match when play was allowed to continue despite rain causing both stars to slip.

"The last matches I played so well and so quick, but today it's about the fight. I'm so happy that I showed that. It's important," Kvitova said.

Unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek beat Italy's Roberto Vinci, the 23rd seed, 6-2, 6-2 to book her place in the quarter-finals for the second successive year.

Paszek will play second seed Victoria Azarenka, a beaten semi-finalist last year, after the reigning Australian Open champion crushed 14th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-0.

Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska completed a bad day for Italian tennis as she cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over qualifier Camila Giorgi.

Radwanska has never been past the last eight at a major, but can end that barren sequence with a win over 17th seed Maria Kirilenko, who beat China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-7 (8/6), 6-3 to secure her first Wimbledon quarter-final.

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