Serena compounds Bartoli's Wimbledon hangover

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Marion Bartoli hoped that her remarkable run to the Wimbledon final would prove a turning point in her career, but the 22-year-old Frenchwoman has done little right since losing to Venus Williams on Centre Court two months ago. Having failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals of five tournaments following her fairytale fortnight, Bartoli was drummed out of the fourth round of the US Open by Serena Williams here yesterday.

Williams, who had not played since hurting her thumb at Wimbledon, had failed to impress in her first three matches but picked up her game to win 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 16 minutes. Bartoli won the first two games but was always on the back foot thereafter.

The second set was close before Williams broke to lead 3-2. Bartoli struggled with the power of the American, who hit 10 aces, including the last two points of the match.

Maria Sharapova and Martina Hingis, two former champions, both lost to 18-year-olds from eastern Europe on Saturday. Sharapova, the 2006 winner, was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 by Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, while Martina Hingis, the 1997 champion, went down 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus. Sharapova became the first women's second seed to lose before the fourth round since Andrea Jaeger in 1981. The Russian, who has been troubled by a shoulder injury all summer, made 49 unforced errors and hit 12 double faults as she struggled with the swirling wind and Radwanska's aggressive returns.

After winning eight games in a row to lead 2-0 in the final set, Sharapova dropped the last six games. "I could sit here and blame the wind and my opponent, but there are no excuses," she said. "I'm not going to throw myself a pity party."

Hingis made a fine return to the game last year following a three-year absence, but her career has stalled recently. The 26-year-old Swiss missed the French Open through injury and in the last two Grand Slam tournaments has failed to progress beyond the third round.

"You can see the new generation coming up," Hingis said. "They're very dangerous. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. My mum texted me. She said: 'Watch out'."

One of the next generation, Nicole Vaidisova, lost to Shahar Peer in three sets, but another, Tamira Paszek, made a fine comeback to beat Patty Schnyder, the No 11 seed, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. The 16-year-old Austrian is ranked No 43 in the world.

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