The carnage at Wimbledon continues: Top seeds Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova were all ousted in the first week of the tournament. On Monday, it was defending champion Serena Williams’ turn.
The overwhelming favourite to lift a sixth Wimbledon title suffered a shock fourth-round defeat when she was beaten 6-2 1-6 6-4 by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki on Monday. The American, who had been on a 34-match winning streak and had lost just twice all year, relinquished a 4-2 lead in the third set to bow out after two hours four minutes.
Fresh off dominating the French Open, Williams was a 1-2 favorite to win. But the No. 23 seed Lisicki, a big-serving German, had an odd streak of her own. In her last four Wimbledons, Lisicki had defeated the reigning French Open champion
It really was a stunner. “I’m still shaking,” an emotional Lisicki said in a post-match interview, covering her face with her hands to wipe away tears. “I’m just so happy.”
In her post-match news conference, Williams mixed praise of her opponent with plenty of self-criticism.
I didn’t play the big points good enough. I didn’t do what I do best,” Williams said. “Sabine played really well, she always does well at Wimbledon, so I knew it would be a tough match going in. … Definitely had opportunities, but I didn’t take them.
The early exits by favored players at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club leaves relative unknowns looking to see how far they can go.
Sloane Stephens becomes the last American in singles, just as she was at the Australian Open. She defeated Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Stephens will face Marion Bartoli of France in the quarterfinals.
•2011 French open Li Na won a matchup of 30-somethings to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the third time, routing Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-2, 6-0.
•2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova became the first player to reach the quarterfinals, beating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. She was joined minutes later by Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who reached her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal by ousting Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 — a year after her ranking plummeted as low as 262nd because of injuries.
•Laura Robson failed in her quest to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals since 1984, falling 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 in an error-filled match to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.
At this wild wild Wimbledon, who will be left standing?