Sharapova out of Birmingham

© Reuters

Maria Sharapova’s bid for a third grass court title came to an end as she was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Li Na, the fourth seed.

The Russian, who has been plunging down the rankings due to an injury lay-off, conceded six breaks of serve in a match that lasted 1 hour and 29 minutes.

Li, the highest ranked player left in the tournament, will face Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova after she came back from a set down to defeat Sania Mirza of India.

A delighted Li said: “My return of serve was so good today. I broke her many times so it did not feel like a grass court match.”

“I lost to her so many times before, so I thought if I lose again then I should not worry. That made me very relaxed today.”

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