Tag Archives: underdog

Dortmund hoping Champions League history repeats itself

Dortmund hoping history repeats itself as they take on Malaga for place in Champions League semi-finals

By
Darren Witcoop

PUBLISHED:

12:55 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 3 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund will still remain dark horses to win the Champions League, but the omens might just be in their favour if they can progress beyond Malaga in the quarter-final showdown.

Dortmund have given up the ghost retaining the Bundesliga title with runaway leaders Bayern Munich destined for the trophy.

But in Europe, it is a different matter all together.

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

There is little doubt Dortmund, who have already knocked out Manchester City, are an emerging team under highly-rated manager Juergen Klopp.

Now Malaga, another of the season's surprise packages, stand in their way of a semi-final place.

Dortmund's only ever win in Spain came in the same season when they won Europe's biggest club competition in 1997.

A coincidence or destiny Only time will tell.

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

But Klopp claims Dortmund's 2-1 bruising win over Stuttgart on the weekend, which took its toll on his players, was ideal preparation for the first-leg challenge that lies ahead.

'We got manhandled', he said.

'At times I was worried about the health of my players.

'But it was a good preparation for the Champions League game in Malaga, because they fly into challenges with just as much intensity.'

Despite their underdog tag, Malaga, the Qatari-backed side who were in Spain's Second Division just five years ago, will not just roll over.

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

The money might have dried up at this cash-strapped club but they have still punched above their weight this season.

As well as reaching the last eight of the Champions League, they are also in the hunt for a top-four finish in La Liga although UEFA have banned them from playing European football next season due to outstanding debts.

'Nobody gave us a chance at the start and yet the players have responded so well,” said coach Manuel Pellegrini.

'We eliminated Porto and that represented a huge achievement for the side. We don't want our run to end here.'

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Dortmund will be favourites to progress but they have been hit with injuries.

Marcel Schmelzer will need a face-mask but is likely to play, despite breaking his nose against Stuttgart.

Jakub Blaszczykowski has travelled but is struggling to overcome a groin injury.

Midfielders Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz (ankle) are doubts and Mats Hummels is certain to miss out.

Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 13 goals in as many games, will lead the line and will be supported by Mario Goetze and Marco Reus.

In contrast, Malaga have few injury worries.

Portuguese winger Eliseu has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury but defender Diego Lugano is likely to return.

Ignacio Camacho and Duda are also back in contention after serving suspensions and star striker Isco will start.

Gavin Rees vows to knock out Adrien Broner

Underdog Rees pledges to KO 'cocky' Broner in Atlantic City showdown

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:07 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 13 February 2013

Gavin Rees has promised to knock 'cocky' Adrien Broner out cold and become a two-weight world champion in Atlantic City on Saturday night.

The Welsh lightweight will be a huge underdog against the 23-year-old hailed as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's throne.

But Rees, who was clearly riled during Tuesday's press conference, is confident he can put an end to the hype.

Vow: Gavin Rees (right) is determined to knock out Adrien Broner this weekend

Vow: Gavin Rees (right) is determined to knock out Adrien Broner this weekend

The 32-year-old won the WBA light-welterweight belt in 2007 when he stunned Souleymane M'Baye only to lose in his first defence to Andriy Kotelnik the following year.

Rees then dropped down a division, winning the British and European titles before accepting the clash with Broner.

'I'm looking forward to knocking your head off because you're one cocky f***,' he said, addressing his opponent.

'You'll be lower than me when I knock you out cold. You do all the talking but we'll see if you can back it up on Saturday night.'

Broner, who claimed throughout the conference not to know Rees' name, is renowned for his brash attitude and post-fight antics which include having his dad brush his hair.#

And unsurprisingly, he was confident of recording his 22nd knockout from 26 professional contests.

'I respect him as a fighter because only a boxer knows what we go through when we get in that ring,' he said.

'Cocky': Adrien Broner is widely considered to be favourites for the bout

'Cocky': Adrien Broner is widely considered to be favourite for the bout

'At the end of the day, we're going to have fun. I've never seen him fight but he's been world champion so he's not a lookover.

'He's going to sleep. I'm not going to miss the boulder on his shoulders; it's not going to last long.
'I'm not looking past the fight but I wanted to fight Ricky Burns but he put on his track shoes and ran away from me again.

'We're going to take care of business on Saturday night.'

Rees' promoter Eddie Hearn meanwhile admits he was insulted by the odds being offered on his charge winning with one British bookmaker quoting him at 25/1.

'He's been written off and some of the odds that are flying about are quite abusive,' he said. 'He's a former British, European and world champion. He won't be overawed going into the fight.

'It will be the toughest fight of Adrien Broner's career and Gavin deserves a hell of a lot more respect than he's been getting.

'We believe we will cause a massive upset and make a huge statement for British boxing.'

Mikkel Kessler has Carl Froch in sights after Brian Magee win

Kessler has Froch in his sights after destroying Magee to win fifth world title

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UPDATED:

12:23 GMT, 9 December 2012

Northern Irishman Brian Magee's first
defence of his WBA super-middleweight title ended in heartbreak after he
was stopped in the third round by a clinical Mikkel Kessler in Herning,
Denmark.

Kessler knocked the wind out of his
opponent's sails in the second round with a right to the body that left
Magee visibly struggling and the Northern Irishman was given a standing
eight count after turning his back following another punch to the
stomach later in the round.

It was a matter of when, not if, the relentless Dane would stop the contest and Magee's bravery was ended with yet another body shot, forcing referee Luis Pabon to call a halt to proceedings after 24 seconds of round three.

Champion again: Mikkel Kessler shows off his belt after winning the WBA world title in Denmark

Champion again: Mikkel Kessler shows off his belt after winning the WBA world title in Denmark

Magee became the WBA's regular champion after Ward was promoted to super champion at 168lbs although he was a firm underdog after agreeing to go into Kessler's back yard.

Following a rather uneventful opening round, Kessler brought the crowd to their feet with a straight right to the body midway through the second that sent Magee to his knees.

The 37-year-old managed to beat the count and valiantly looked to take the attack to Kessler, who focused all of his attack to the waist of Magee.

He was in pain towards the end of the round and took a knee after turning his back following another body shot.

Magee was saved by the bell, but the minute recovery in between rounds was clearly not enough and his resistance was ended when Kessler sent yet another straight right to the weakened area to bring a premature end to the night.

Early night: Kessler made short work of Brian Magee who had no answer to the Dane's punishing shots

Early night: Kessler made short work of Brian Magee who had no answer to the Dane's punishing shots

Early night: Kessler made short work of Brian Magee who had no answer to the Dane's punishing shots

Kessler's routine win has already set tongues wagging about a potential rematch with IBF champion Carl Froch, who has made no secret of his desire for another bout with the 33-year-old after being beaten by a close points decision when the two met in April 2010 in a pulsating encounter.

Froch was a guest pundit for Sky Sports 1 and admitted the fighters' promoters have already been in discussions about a return bout next year, possibly in the United Kingdom.

'I think (a rematch) is already step one completed because they've had a productive conversation and it's looking promising that the fight can definitely happen in the spring or early summer in 2013,' he said.

'They'll be talking now in the couple of days following that.

Body blow: Kessler had Magee on the canvas early on before the referee called a halt to the one-sided fight

Body blow: Kessler had Magee on the canvas early on before the referee called a halt to the one-sided fight

Body blow: Kessler had Magee on the canvas early on before the referee called a halt to the one-sided fight

'The only sensible fight out there for the fans, for the television, for me and for Mikkel is the rematch.

'The first fight was a humdinger. Everybody loved it who watched it and to get the rematch everyone's going to get excited.'

The two are friends and Froch, who defeated veteran Magee in 2006, claimed he was the one to tell Kessler to focus his attack to the body.

'I said to him “if it's a quiet opening then have a look to his body”,' added the self-styled Cobra.

'Well done Mikkel, you took my advice well but if you come to the UK you'll be leaving that black belt with me.'

Mikkel Kessler has Carl Froch in his sights after third round KO of Brian Magee

Kessler has Froch in his sights after destroying Northern Irishman Magee

PUBLISHED:

00:34 GMT, 9 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

00:37 GMT, 9 December 2012

Northern Irishman Brian Magee's first
defence of his WBA super-middleweight title ended in heartbreak after he
was stopped in the third round by a clinical Mikkel Kessler in Herning,
Denmark.

Kessler knocked the wind out of his
opponent's sails in the second round with a right to the body that left
Magee visibly struggling and the Northern Irishman was given a standing
eight count after turning his back following another punch to the
stomach later in the round.

Impressive: Champion Mikkel Kessler

Impressive: Champion Mikkel Kessler

It was a matter of when, not if, the relentless Dane would stop the contest and Magee's bravery was ended with yet another body shot, forcing referee Luis Pabon to call a halt to proceedings after 24 seconds of round three.

Magee became the WBA's regular champion after Ward was promoted to super champion at 168lbs although he was a firm underdog after agreeing to go into Kessler's back yard.

Following a rather uneventful opening round, Kessler brought the crowd to their feet with a straight right to the body midway through the second that sent Magee to his knees.

The 37-year-old managed to beat the count and valiantly looked to take the attack to Kessler, who focused all of his attack to the waist of Magee.

He was in pain towards the end of the round and took a knee after turning his back following another body shot.

Magee was saved by the bell, but the minute recovery in between rounds was clearly not enough and his resistance was ended when Kessler sent yet another straight right to the weakened area to bring a premature end to the night.

Sex with Madonna would not be as good as beating Aston Villa, says Paolo Di Canio

In bed with Di Canio! Passionate Paolo says Swindon beating Villa would be better than sex with Madonna

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UPDATED:

09:58 GMT, 30 October 2012

Paolo Di Canio reckons a Swindon win over Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup would be better than having sex with Madonna.

Di Canio welcomes Villa to the County Ground on Tuesday night and the Robins boss cannot wait to get stuck in to Premier League opposition.

Like Material Girl singer Madonna, Villa produced their best work in the 1980s and Di Canio fancies his chances of an upset.

She shoots, she scores: Madonna or victory over Aston Villa - it's a tough choice

She shoots, she scores: Madonna or victory over Aston Villa – it's a tough choice

The Italian scored the winner for West Ham against Manchester United in the FA Cup in 2001 and is looking forward to being the underdog once more.

He said: 'When I scored against United it was very exciting to look around and see 9,000 people celebrating away from home.

'Sending Manchester United out was amazing. It was like having sex with Madonna and beating Villa as a manager would be just as good.

'Better than having sex with Madonna Let me try it and I will give you an honest answer.'

Di Canio has been basking in 'positive energy' ahead of the game.

The Robins head into the fourth-round tie on the back of a convincing 4-0 victory at Stevenage and Di Canio insists he is calmness personified.

'You can't wait to start when you have time to wait and I don't know why but I feel positive, I feel happy, I have a positive energy,' he said.

Up for the cup: Paolo Di Canio is looking forward to facing Aston Villa

Up for the cup: Paolo Di Canio is looking forward to facing Aston Villa

'I was thinking more about it (at the weekend) but I am getting close to the match and I am more relaxed.

'If we can do something more it would be a dream but I don't feel the pressure. I think there would be more pressure if there were some details I could use to prepare my players better.

'What we have done already is fantastic and there will be a fantastic atmosphere at the County Ground.'

Di Canio's Wiltshire side are not short of confidence for the sold-out visit of Villa, who have only won one league match this season.

Swindon have already eliminated Championship sides Brighton and Burnley as well as Stoke at the Britannia Stadium – their best run in the League Cup since reaching the semi-finals 17 years ago.

Tester: Aston Villa head for Swindon on the back of a 1-1 draw with Norwich

Tester: Aston Villa head for Swindon on the back of a 1-1 draw with Norwich

And despite scoring three goals or more in every Capital One Cup tie so far this season Di Canio is well aware chances will be at a premium at a ground where Swindon have lost just twice since August 2011.

'Even if we have one chance to win the game, we will try to make the one chance a big chance,' Di Canio said.

'The first half hour is crucial, every first half-hour is crucial. This kind of game is really important tactically but if you stay one versus one and if you cut out silly mistakes in the middle of midfield, then the players can make a difference.

'It's easy to prepare for this game because the players have 200 per cent commitment to prove their quality. If you are not an intelligent manager you can fall in a trap because you can make mistakes because there is too much enthusiasm.'

The Robins will be without one of their star performers in the victory over Stevenage on Saturday after on-loan Tottenham playmaker John Bostock hobbled off with a groin injury.

The Italian's options could be boosted by a return to the squad for striker Andy Williams, who has not featured since October 6 because of a calf injury.

Carl Froch: Kevin Mitchell can beat Ricky Burns

Close call: Froch backs underdog Mitchell to upset home favourite Burns in Glasgow

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UPDATED:

16:27 GMT, 20 September 2012

Carl Froch has backed Kevin Mitchell to cause an upset in Glasgow and defeat home favourite Ricky Burns for the WBO world lightweight title this weekend.

Champion Burns stood toe-to-toe with Londoner Mitchell for the final time on Thursday before Friday's weigh-in as Saturday's eagerly-anticipated clash draws closer.

Opinion is heavily divided as to who will eventually come out on top, but IBF world super-middleweight champion Froch believes his English compatriot Mitchell can defy the odds at the SECC Arena.

Head-to-head: Challenger Kevin Mitchell stares champion Ricky Burns in the eyes as the pair gear up for their WBO world lightweight contest

Head-to-head: Challenger Kevin Mitchell stares champion Ricky Burns in the eyes as the pair gear up for their WBO world lightweight contest

'It promises to be a decent fight, very, very close,' said Froch, speaking to BoxNation, who will broadcast the bout.

'The smart money will be on Burns on points but you’ve got to get behind the English and Kevin’s a tough little f*****.

'I think he’ll stay on top of Burns with educated pressure and his power punches will see him to a late stoppage.'

World light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly is backing the 29-year-old Coatbridge fighter to stop the challenger, however.

Cleverly, who also fights under the Frank Warren stable of boxers, is preparing for his comeback next month when he defends his WBO crown against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov at Cardiff's Motopoint Arena.

His attention will be fixed on events north of the border on Saturday, where he expects Burns to come out on top.

'It’ll be a real class fight,' he said.

Man in the middle: Promoter Frank Warren is looking forward to Saturday's eagerly-awaited contest

Man in the middle: Promoter Frank Warren is looking forward to Saturday's eagerly-awaited contest

'Kevin’s got the flair and the flash and he’ll definitely hurt Burns at some stage with those crisp, snappy bombs of his.

'But I’ll go with Burns to get behind his jab and pinch it on points from long range. He’s the more consistent, has been kept busier and has more momentum. I think that will be decisive in the later part of the fight.'

One man who is no stranger to all-British showdowns is the legendary Jim Watt and the former world lightweight king has predicted his fellow countryman Burns will walk away as the winner in a closely-fought contest.

On the line: Burns will look to retain his title

On the line: Burns will look to retain his title

'A safe prediction is that it’ll be a good fight because both are always in good fights,' said Watt, who now expertly calls fights in his role as a TV commentator for Sky Sports.

'No doubt Kevin will try and get close, turn it into more of a brawl but Ricky’s proved how tough he is, even in those fights he lost to Alex Arthur and Carl Johanneson.

'Over the years he’s really learned to utilise his physical advantages, that height and reach. I think he has the style to confuse and upset Kevin from long range.

'I go with Burns on points.'

One interested observer this Saturday will by John Murray, the Manchester lightweight who Mitchell superbly knocked out in an epic encounter last year.

Mitchell, 27, has promised Murray the first shot at the title if he manages to defeat Burns – and Murray's respected trainer Joe Gallagher is confident the Cockney can deliver his vow.

'I so, so want Kevin Mitchell to win. He’s a real good kid,' said Gallagher.

'The way he conducted himself in the John Murray fight was the blueprint for all professional fighters. He was funny, quick witted but always respectful.

'He’s also said that, if he wins, he’ll give John Murray first shot at his belt.’

Burns v Mitchell is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) this Saturday night. Join at: www.boxnation.com

Kevin Mitchell v Ricky Burns: Dagenham Destroyer confident of victory in Glasgow

After I've knocked Burns out, the Scots will love me! Mitchell confident ahead of title fight

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UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 19 September 2012

Kevin Mitchell insists he can't wait to enter the 'Lion's Den' in Glasgow this weekend as the Dagenham Destroyer looks to snatch the WBO World Lightweight title from home hero Ricky Burns.

In what is one of the most-eagerly anticipated domestic contests in years, Mitchell headed north of the border on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's 'Battle of Britain'.

Over 10,000 fans are expected at the SECC Arena in the Scottish city, with the majority rooting for Coatbridge fighter Burns to retain his crown.

Ready to rumble: Ricky Burns (R) will defend his WBO World Lightweight title against Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow

Ready to rumble: Ricky Burns (R) will defend his WBO World Lightweight title against Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow

Mitchell, 27, insists he is unfazed by the prospect of a hostile atmosphere and is confident he can fulfill his self-proclaimed destiny of walking away as the new world champion… with a few new followers in tow.

'I guarantee the Jocks won’t be any more naughty than the Russians I faced when I went over there as a young teenager in the amateurs,' he said, speaking to BoxNation.

'I’ve travelled all around the world with the boxing.

'I bashed up John Murray in the north-west before his crowd so fighting in Scotland won’t be an issue at all.

'After I’ve knocked him out, all the Jocks will be loving me. Just you watch 'em!'

Mitchell is under no illusions at the size of the task that awaits him though.

'Don’t get me wrong, I’m expecting a very, very hard fight,' he added.

'Ricky’s quality all the way round. He’s quick, has a hard accurate jab, can box and he also punches plenty hard enough to the body.'

Showtime: Mitchell is determined to beat Burns (pictured) in front of the Scottish fans

Showtime: Mitchell is determined to beat Burns (pictured) in front of the Scottish fans

But despite going into the bout as the underdog, Mitchell is confident he carve out the beginnings to his dream of becoming a boxing superstar and land his first ever world championship.

'I’ve got faster hands, more power and better agility,' said Mitchell.

'We know Burns can be hurt. Unlike me, he’s been put on the floor several times.

'Also, there’s my determination to become a world champion. That’s something I’ve really wanted since I was a little nine year old baby. Ricky’s already experienced that, I haven’t. My hunger is greater than his.

'This is probably my last chance. To still achieve all the things that I intend to achieve in boxing, it has to happen for me in Glasgow on Saturday night.

'I’m finally ready to become a superstar that everyone remembers, like my heroes, Barry McGuigan, Chris Eubank and Naseem (Hamed).'

Mitchell, meanwhile, is even more determined to win in Scotland as he vowed to dedicate his fight to his brave seven-year-old cousin Mitchell Huth, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last month.

Burns v Mitchell is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at: www.boxnation.com

Saul Alvarez beats Josesito Lopez to retain WBC super welterweight title

Alvarez stops Lopez in the fifth to retain WBC super welterweight title

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UPDATED:

08:21 GMT, 16 September 2012

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez stopped Josesito Lopez late in the fifth round Saturday night, defending his WBC super welterweight title with a relentless display of power by the 22-year-old Mexican champion.

Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) ended Lopez's dreams of a second upset victory this year by knocking down his 12-to-1 underdog opponent in the second, third and fourth rounds.

Hitting the deck: Saul Alvarez knocks down Josesito Lopez during the second round

Hitting the deck: Saul Alvarez knocks down Josesito Lopez during the second round

On top: Alvarez put in a dominant display against Lopez

On top: Alvarez put in a dominant display against Lopez

No 1: Alvarez celebrates his win

No 1: Alvarez celebrates his win

Another series of relentless combinations finally forced referee Joe Cortez to step in, sending Alvarez to his 37th consecutive victory.

Alvarez dropped Lopez with body shots in the second and third rounds while also absorbing everything Lopez (30-5) could throw at him with barely a flinch. Alvarez knocked down Lopez with another combination with 15 seconds left in the fourth.

US Open 2012: David Ferrer beats Janko Tipsarevic to reach semi-finals

Ferrer sees off Tipsarevic in epic five-set thriller to reach last four of US Open

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 6 September 2012

Fourth seed David Ferrer reached his second US Open semi-final after a quite brilliant five-set tussle against Janko Tipsarevic at Flushing Meadows.

The Spaniard is known as the 'little beast' and he showed why as he recovered from two sets to one down and then a break down in the deciding set to win 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) after four hours and 31 minutes.

It was also a tremendous performance from eighth seed Tipsarevic, who delighted the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd with his superb shot-making but could not wear his opponent down.

Speaking on court afterwards, Ferrer said: 'I don't have words. I'm very happy. I ran a lot. It was a really tough match. Janko is an amazing player. He fought a lot and he deserved also to win today.'

On top of the world: David Ferrer is overcome with emotion after winning a sensational match

On top of the world: David Ferrer is overcome with emotion after winning a sensational match

Tipsarevic was playing in his second straight US Open quarter-final after losing to compatriot Novak Djokovic 12 months ago but was a clear underdog against Ferrer.

The relentless Spaniard has maintained the brilliant form he has shown this year and was looking to match his run here in 2007, when he lost to Djokovic in the last four.

Tipsarevic could not have made a better start, winning the opening two games, but Ferrer swiftly hit back and showed greater consistency to win the opening set.

Tipsarevic dug in well in the second, though, matching the intensity of his rival and really going for his shots.

Pure emotion: Ferrer fell to ground after five grueling sets

Pure emotion: Ferrer fell to ground after five grueling sets

And in the tie-break it was the Serbian who prevailed, taking his third set point with a ferocious off-forehand winner and letting out a roar of celebration.

Tipsarevic really had the bit between his teeth and he broke through to lead 3-2 in the third set after a game of spectacular rallies.

Ferrer was rattled and the eighth seed made it four games in a row to break again, and then five to clinch the set.

Tipsarevic threatened again at the start of the fourth set but Ferrer hung on, and slowly the Spaniard clawed his way back into the match.

He had his chance to break in the eighth game and he took it before levelling up at two sets all.

Pushed to the limit: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

Pushed to the limit: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

Tipsarevic was now looking very weary and was no doubt frustrated that, having thrown everything at Ferrer, the fourth seed was still right there.

He could not break through at the start of the decider, though, and holding on seemed to re-energise Tipsarevic, who attacked the Ferrer serve with gusto to take a 2-0 lead.

It was another twist in this remarkable match, but not the final one, as a heavy fall at the end of the sixth game seemed to unsettle Tipsarevic and he threw in a series to errors to hand back his hard-won break.

The fourth seed scented blood and he set up two more break points at 4-4 when Tipsarevic called for the trainer for treatment to his right thigh.

Steady hand: Ferrer plays a drop shot

Steady hand: Ferrer plays a drop shot

He had it strapped up and promptly saved both break points before holding serve to force Ferrer to serve to stay in the match.

The Spaniard managed it twice to set up a deciding tie-break, and he struck the first blow in another brutal rally to lead 5-3.

That gave Ferrer two serves to secure victory, and he did just that, the Spaniard kneeling down on the court and screaming with delight.

London 2012 Olympics: Laura Robson beaten by Maria Sharapova

Sharapova dumps brave Robson out of women's singles event at Wimbledon

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UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 31 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Laura Robson's Olympic singles campaign was brought to an end in the second round by Maria Sharapova despite a hugely impressive display by the 18-year-old under the Centre Court roof.

Robson, who will play in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray, traded blow for blow with the third seed in the first set in particular before going down 7-6 (7/5) 6-3.

The Londoner clearly went into the match as a big underdog but Sharapova would have been well aware of the threat she posed, having narrowly beaten the teenager by the same scoreline in the second round of Wimbledon last year.

Game over: Robson crashed out to Sharapova at Wimbledon

Game over: Robson crashed out to Sharapova at Wimbledon

Since then Robson has climbed into the
world's top 100 and yesterday beat top-30 player Lucie Safarova to seal
her spot in the second round.

She certainly possesses the power to
match Sharapova, which is no mean feat, and she took the game to her
illustrious opponent from the start.

Robson had a chance to break in the fourth game but could not take it, and Sharapova moved ahead in the next.

But the Russian faltered serving at
4-3, sending down a double fault on break point and allowing Robson to
level, to the delight of the patriotic crowd.

Uphill battle: Robson had her work cut out facing the Russian world No 3, Sharapova

Uphill battle: Robson had her work cut out facing the Russian world No 3, Sharapova

Uphill battle: Robson had her work cut out facing the Russian world No 3, Sharapova

Chants of 'Laura, Laura' rang around
the arena as Robson twice held serve to force a tie-break, and she
recovered from a double fault on the opening point to lead 3-1.

But a mark of how well Robson was
playing was that Sharapova's level was extremely high, and she kept her
nerve to set up set point, which she took with a searing return.

The British number three needed a good
start to the second set but Sharapova really had the bit between her
teeth now and although Robson saved three break points, she could not
save a fourth.

That made it 2-0 to the third seed but
Robson dug in and broke back for 3-4, only to lose her serve again
immediately – and this time there was no way back.

High spirits: The fans arrived in their droves to show their support, despite the occasional shower

High spirits: The fans arrived in their droves to show their support, despite the occasional shower

High spirits: The fans arrived in their droves to show their support, despite the occasional shower