Russian Sharapova sealed her 20th grand slam semi-final appearance with a hard-fought 6-3 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 victory on Centre Court, and will next face Serena Williams, a player she has not defeated since 2004.
After coming off court against Sharapova, Vandeweghe claimed her opponent had tried to put her off while she served.
At one point the 23-year-old, who had never reached a major quarter-final before, made a complaint to the umpire and added she would speak to Sharapova if the official was too “scared” to do so.
“What I experienced, what I felt from her moving around in between my serving motion was not, I don’t think, sportsmanlike,” Vandeweghe said.
“I try to play as fair as I can. When I felt like it wasn’t being reciprocated, that’s when I spoke with the umpire for her to deal with.” Vandeweghe added: “She said she didn’t believe she was doing it during the motion. I strongly disagreed.
“Towards the later end of the second set, I said if she has a problem speaking to Maria, if she’s too scared to do it, I had no problem speaking to her.” Sharapova refused to be drawn on the accusations.
“It is what it is,” the 2004 Wimbledon champion said. “What she said, I’m not going to argue against her words.” Sharapova also deflected questions about her grunting, which was at its most piercing and grew louder as the match went on.
“I don’t say anything. Do I have to?” said 28-year-old Sharapova.
“I have nothing to say. It’s nothing new.” Williams won through also in three sets, with the 20-time grand slam champion fending off Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 3-6 6-2 6-3 in a high-quality match, and the Thursday semi-final against Sharapova will be keenly anticipated.
Williams has refused to talk during Wimbledon about the possibility of her winning the calendar grand slam, but claims she is particularly dangerous this year, having already achieved more than anyone else on tour.
“I don’t have anything to prove,” Williams said.
“I’ve won all the grand slams, multiple times. Now it’s just I’m here just to enjoy it. I think it’s actually making me play better, which is crazy.”
It is hardly surprising, given their head-to-head record, that Williams is relishing another big-stage showdown with Sharapova, having already beaten her in the Australian Open final this season.
“I love playing Maria. I think she brings out the best in me,” Williams said. “I think I bring out the best in her. I thought we had a wonderful final in Australia. It was very entertaining. She played really well.
“I don’t feel like I have any pressure going into this match. We both actually lost early last year. We both are enjoying this moment and one of us will be in the final.”
On the other side of the draw, Spain’s first-time grand slam semi-finalist Garbine Muguruza will tackle former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, who overcame big-hitting American Madison Keys 7-6 (7/3) 3-6 6-3.
Muguruza beat Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5 6-3 to reach her first major semi-final.
It is the first time a Spanish woman has made it through to the last four at Wimbledon since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario achieved the feat in 1997.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic vowed he would apologise to a Wimbledon ball girl after angrily yelling towards her during his fourth-round win over Kevin Anderson.
The defending champion appeared to aggressively shout “Towel” at the startled youngster when struggling to fend off big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.
Djokovic won through 6-7 (6/8) 6-7 (6/8) 6-1 6-4 7-5, resuming on Tuesday at two sets all after fading light had brought the match on Court One to an overnight halt.
When asked about the incident involving the ball girl, which came in the sixth game of the deciding set, after he planted a loose forehand into the net to end a 20-shot rally, Djokovic said: “I’m sorry. There was nothing towards her.”