Sharapova dumped out in the fourth round of French Open

Defending champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the French Open after she was beaten in straight sets by Lucie Safarova in the fourth round.

Sharapova dumped out in the fourth round of French Open

Defending champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the French Open after she was beaten in straight sets by Lucie Safarova in the fourth round.

Sharapova has reached three consecutive finals at Roland Garros and won two of those but Safarova pulled off the biggest shock of the tournament so far to win 7-6 (7/3) 6-4.

The Czech has never been past the last 16 before in Paris and she will now play Spain’s Garbine Muguruza for a place in the semi-finals.

“I knew Maria is an amazing player and I needed to play aggressively and come forward for the points so I’m really happy,” Safarova said after the match.

“I’m so happy, it’s amazing, it was a great match today and the crowd were so good.”

Safarova had only beaten Sharapova once in five previous meetings but she simply outgunned the world number two, hitting 34 winners to her opponent’s 20 and breaking serve three times.

After edging a tight first set in a tie-break, Safarova raced into a 3-0 lead in the second but Sharapova, renowned for her resilience, fought back to level at 3-3.

The momentum appeared to have turned in the Russian’s favour, particularly when Safarova missed a chance to go 4-2 up after she blazed a short forehand wide, but the world number 13 regained her composure to lead 5-4.

Sharapova, serving to avoid defeat, saved one match point when Safarova netted another simple forehand, but the Czech made no mistake at the second opportunity, sealing a stunning victory in one hour and 50 minutes.

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