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Sharapova battles past Pennetta

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) Russia's Maria Sharapova dropped her first set at this year's Wimbledon in a battling 7-6 3-6 6-3 fourth round victory over Italian Flavia Pennetta today.

The 2004 champion was given a real test by 16th seed Pennetta who more than matched her for long periods of a tight fourth round encounter on court two.

Sharapova, who used bags of ice to cool herself in the changeovers, took the first set tiebreak 7-5 but the fourth seed was immediately 3-0 down in the second set and Pennetta soon levelled the match.

The Italian netted a forehand to lose serve for 3-1 in the decider and Sharapova, shrieking with every bludgeoned groundstroke, whacked a backhand winner on her third match point to seal victory.

She tackles fellow Russian Elena Dementieva in the last eight.

Reuters PDS RN2248

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