MARIA SHARAPOVA’S dream return to Wimbledon turned into a nightmare with humiliating defeat in the Russian derby.
Vitalia Diatchenko’s first ever Grand Slam win on grass came against the one-time darling of SW19 who has suffered another massive blow in her bid for redemption.
Maria Sharapova was dumped out by a fellow Russian on Court 2Credit: PA:Press Association
Sharapova’s last match at Wimbledon was the 2015 semi-final after which she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium resulting in a 15 month ban.
The 2004 champion also skipped last year because of injury and is now agonising over the worst defeat of her career here.
Sharapova, who has earned in excess of £30 million from tennis, had never gone out in the first round at Wimbledon in her career before last night.
To make matters worse controversial Sharapova, 31, was a set and 5-2 up before crumbling on the cusp of victory.
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World no.132 Diatchenko is a qualifier and has only ever won two Grand Slam matches but fought back bravely.
Sharapova underlined the manner in which she melted by losing match point on a double fault.
After Sharapova secured a break of serve in the first set, Diatchenko needed a medical time-out for what appeared to be a hip injury.
Yet the world number 132 did not seem in too much discomfort as she promptly broke straight back for 4-4.