Sharapova ousted; Kvitova into semis; Halep reaches Wimbledon QFs
London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - German left-hander Angelique Kerber upset former champion Maria Sharapova, while former titlist Petra Kvitova surged into the semifinals and third-seeded French Open runner-up Simona Halep eased into the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The ninth-seeded Kerber toppled the fifth-seeded Sharapova in 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-4 fashion in a brilliant fourth-round bout.
After two tight sets, the surprising Kerber charged out to a 5-2 lead in the third, only to see the Russian star mount a comeback of sorts.
Sharapova saved a match point in the eighth game of the stanza with an unlikely winner that just clipped the line on her way to a hold.
She then broke Kerber to pull within 4-5, but that's as close as Sharapova would get. The Russian star would save six match points, but was unable to stave off a seventh when she misfired long on a backhand to end an outstanding affair on the famed Centre Court.
Sharapova piled up 49 unforced errors, compared to 11 for Kerber, who improved to 2-4 lifetime against the tall Russian.
"It's absolutely normal for people to have high expectations of me doing well in Grand Slam stages," Sharapova said. "I certainly do, as well. Today could have gone either way, and it didn't go my way."
The 26-year-old Kerber will now appear in a third major quarterfinal. She was a Wimbledon semifinalist two years ago.
"It's unbelievable," said Kerber. "It was so tough (a) match. Every single set was so close. Maria's a great player. I was just fighting, concentrating and focusing on myself. I'm so happy to be in the quarters now."
The five-time major champion Sharapova, who was fresh off her second French Open title, captured her lone Wimbledon championship as a 17-year-old in 2004 and was the 2011 runner-up here to Kvitova.
The sixth-seeded left-hander Kvitova doused fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5 to wrap up Day 8.
The 24-year-old Kvitova played in her fifth straight Wimbledon quarterfinal (3-2) and is seeking her second title here in four years. She was also a semifinalist in 2010.
Kvitova's final-four opponent on Thursday will be another fellow Czech and fellow lefty, Lucie Safarova.
The 23rd-seeded Safarova reached her first-ever major semifinal by whipping 22nd-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-1 in an all-left-handed quarter.
Safarova reached one other Grand Slam quarterfinal and that occurred at the 2007 Australian Open. She's playing in her 37th career major.
Halep, meanwhile, posted a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 win over Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas. The Romanian star handled the 72nd-ranked Diyas, appearing in her first Wimbledon main draw, in 57 minutes.
The 22-year-old Halep became the second Romanian woman to reach the quarterfinals at the All England Club, joining Virginia Ruzici, who made it to the quarters here in 1978 and 1981. Ruzici currently serves as Halep's manager.
Halep has reached at last the quarterfinals at all three of this year's Grand Slams.
The highest-ranked player left in the women's draw, Halep will next face last year's Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki, who beat Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova by a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 margin at this fortnight.
The 19th-seeded Lisicki took an injury timeout while facing break point at 1-1 in the second set and was treated by a trainer on her right shoulder.
Lisicki lost to Marion Bartoli in last year's Wimbledon finale and has reached at least the quarters in her last five trips to the AEC.
Two other quarterfinals will be staged Wednesday, when Halep takes on Lisicki and Kerber tangles with 13th-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who is the only woman to appear in two Grand Slam semifinals in 2014.
Bouchard beat Kerber in the fourth round at the French Open last month.
07/01 16:26:05 ET