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Maria Sharapova, No. 1 seed, defeated at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova lost lost to Germany's Sabine Lisicki Monday at Wimbledon. But Maria Sharapova was outspoken on equal pay for women this week.

By Toby Davis and Paul MajendieReuters / July 2, 2012

Maria Sharapova of Russia waits between sets during a fourth round singles match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Monday, July 2, 2012.

(AP Photo/Sang Tan)

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London

Maria Sharapova's hopes of winning a second Wimbledon title were shattered on Monday as the world No. 1 was comprehensively beaten 6-4 6-3 by Germany's Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round.

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The world No. 15 had top seed Sharapova on the back foot early in the first set, forcing her into a string of uncharacteristic errors, and did not let up until she had gained revenge for her semi-final defeat by the Russian last year.

Lisicki, who had complained about her second-round opponent Bojana Jovanovski's grunting, was forced to endure Sharapova's loud wails, but kept her concentration to break the French Open champion decisively in the 10th game of the first set.

IN PICTURES: The many faces of Maria Sharapova

She broke again early in the second and closed it out, converting her third match point with an ace, to set up a quarter-final against either Belgium's Kim Clijsters or German Angelique Kerber.

EQUAL PAY

Maria Sharapova mocked Frenchman Gilles Simon on Thursday for saying women do not deserve the same prize money as men, pointing out dryly that "there are a few more people that watch my matches than his".

Sharapova, the top seed at Wimbledon, said after reaching the third round by beating Tsvetana Pironkova that women had fought long and hard to win equal pay in tennis.

"It was a big challenge and nobody supported us," the world No. 1 said. "It's been a few years since we have gotten that. We're all really proud of it and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger."

Four-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams also pitched into the row.

"She's way hotter than he is," quipped the American in reference to her great Russian rival.

Simon must have wondered what hit him at his post-match news conference after losing in the second round to Belgian Xavier Malisse, in which 15 of the 16 questions thrown at him were about the prize money issue.

He was quick to point out that even spectators have to fork out 15 pounds ($23.26) more for the men's final than the women's showpiece match.
"Just check the price of the ticket from the men's final and the woman's final for example. That's the way it works in life.

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