Wimbledon 2019: Former champion Maria Sharapova retires at 0-5 down in final set

Maria Sharapova
The first of Maria Sharapova's five Grand Slam titles came at Wimbledon in 2004
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
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Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova's injury problems continued as she retired from her first-round match against Pauline Parmentier.

The 2004 winner trailed 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 5-0 when she pulled out because of a problem with her forearm.

Former world number one Sharapova, 32, is now ranked 80th and only returned from a shoulder injury last month.

"I got myself into a good enough place to be part of this event and this is not what I wanted," said the Russian.

"I've had a history of a tendon problem in my left forearm and it flared up in the first set."

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Sharapova, who took five months off to recover after shoulder surgery in February, served for the match in the second set before losing the tie-break.

"I'm still proud that I'm here. This is not the easy way. I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things," she said.

"I've never taken the easy route. I've always worked, committed, focused. Like I said, these moments are hard, but I love what I do. I still have a lot of passion for it."

It is the second successive year the five-time Grand Slam champion has exited Wimbledon in the first round, having missed the 2016 and 2017 tournaments while serving a suspension for doping.

France's Parmentier, 33, will play Spanish 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro in round two.

Elsewhere, ninth seed Sloane Stephens beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-2 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with China's Yafan Wang.

Two-time champion Petra Kvitova cruised through with a 6-4 6-2 victory against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur. The Czech sixth seed, winner in 2011 and 2014, will face France's Kristina Mladenovic in the next round.

Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens, who reached the last eight in 2018, defeated Luxembourg's Mandy Minella 6-3 6-2 and will now play American Taylor Townsend.

However, 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza, seeded 26th, was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia. The Spaniard has won just one match in two campaigns at Wimbledon since lifting the trophy.

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