Maria Sharapova’s quest to be the first woman in a decade to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back was ended by Sabine Lisicki.
Men’s defending champion Novak Djokovic cruised past Viktor Troicki under the Centre Court roof, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 as former top-ranked Kim Clijsters lost in her final appearance at the tennis tournament.
Sharapova was outplayed by Lisicki, the 15th-seeded German, 6-4, 6-3 on Court 1. Lisicki produced 18 winners, including six aces, compared with Sharapova’s 15 winners and five aces.
“Certainly had chances; I didn’t take them,” top seed Sharapova told reporters. “A lot of the credit goes to my opponent. She played extremely well today and did many things better than I did.”
Sharapova will lose the No. 1 ranking after Wimbledon to second-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or third-seed Agnieszka Radwanska, depending on their results.
Djokovic, whose run of three Grand Slam championships was stopped by Rafael Nadal of Spain in last month’s French Open final, struck 31 winners, more than twice as many as Troicki, a fellow Serb who has been his opponent since he was 8.
“We know each other so well, there are no secrets between us,” Djokovic said in a televised interview.
Lisicki, who also ousted the then-reigning French Open champions at Wimbledon last year and in 2009, will next play another German, Angelique Kerber. The No. 8 seed overpowered Clijsters of Belgium, 6-1, 6-1. Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam singles title holder and a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2003 and 2006, will retire after the U.S. Open, which starts in August.
“I won’t be sorry about anything,” Clijsters said at a news conference. “I know that every time that I’ve played here I’ve given my best, and that’s the only thing that I can try.”
Serena Williams, who squeezed past Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 today, is the last woman to take the titles at Roland Garros and the All England Club in the same year, in 2002. Sharapova rose to the top spot in women’s tennis last month after beating Italy’s Sara Errani to win her first French Open title, completing the career Grand Slam four years after injuries almost forced her to quit tennis.
On Centre Court in drizzle, six-time champion Roger Federer beat 31-year-old Xavier Malisse of Belgium 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. The Swiss right-hander struggled with his movement from the start, taking a medical timeout after the seventh game to get treatment on his back.
“I felt the back going the beginning of the first set,” Federer told reporters. “Honestly I’m not too worried. I’ve had bad backs over the years. I’ve been around. They go as quick as they come. Two good nights’ sleep and I’ll be 100 percent.”
In his 33rd consecutive major quarterfinal, Federer will play another 30-year-old, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone of Italy 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 and will next play Williams.
Azarenka eased past former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, 6-1, 6-0. Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, plays Austria’s Tamira Paszek next. Paszek, who won the Eastbourne warm-up event the week before Wimbledon, moved to her second consecutive All England Club quarterfinal by beating Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2.
Radwanska of Poland beat Camila Giorgi of Italy in straight sets. She’ll play Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, who overcame China’s Peng Shuai in three sets.
There will be a first-time women’s Grand Slam finalist at the tournament because Lisicki, Kerber, Radwanska and Kirilenko play quarter-finals in the same half of the draw, and none have made it to a title match.
Andy Murray’s match against Marin Cilic of Croatia resumes tomorrow at noon after play was suspended on Court 1 because of rain, with the fourth-seeded player from Britain leading 7-5, 3-1. Mardy Fish, the No. 10 seed from the U.S., was up a set against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Germany’s Florian Mayer led Richard Gasquet of France, 6-3, 2-1 when play was halted for the day. David Ferrer’s match against Juan Martin Del Potro, which had been scheduled after the Murray-Cilic match, will also be played tomorrow.
The entire men’s and women’s fourth rounds were scheduled to be completed today on what is known as “Manic Monday.”
The 25-year-old Sharapova is the 10th woman to capture all four of tennis’s major championships. She became a global star and the world’s highest-paid female athlete by winning Wimbledon at 17 in 2004, and also took the 2006 U.S. Open and 2008 Australian Open titles.
The 22-year-old Lisicki entered Wimbledon having lost in the opening round of four consecutive tournaments after spraining her ankle in Charleston, South Carolina, in March.
“I didn’t play well in my last tournaments, but that’s why I went to Florida,” Lisicki said in a news conference. “I practiced just before Wimbledon there. I got my confidence and my shots back. I just had fun on the court again.”