Serena Williams Served Out of Wimbledon by Sabine LisickiDanielle Rossingh
Defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was served out of the tournament she’s won five times by Sabine Lisicki.
Lisicki of Germany beat the top-seeded American, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 on Centre Court at the All England Club in southwest London.
“I’m still shaking, I’m so happy,” Lisicki said in a televised interview, before bursting into tears. “Serena played a fantastic match, she is such a tough opponent. An amazing feeling to win this match.”
Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic and second-seeded Andy Murray won today, advancing to the quarterfinals without dropping a set. Britain’s Murray beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, while Serbia’s Djokovic fired 13 aces in a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory against 35-year-old Tommy Haas of Germany. Fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain also won.
Lisicki had three more aces today than Williams, who’s hit the most aces on the women’s tour this season. The 23-year-old German converted five of eight break points and used an efficient volley, winning 14 of 16 approaches, or 88 percent. Lisicki’s forehand on match point was her 35th winner, 10 more than Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam singles champion.
“It’s not a shock, she always plays really good on grass,” Williams said in a news conference. “I didn’t play the big points good enough, I didn’t do what I do best. I had a little bit of hesitation.”
No. 17 seed Sloane Stephens, the last remaining singles player from the U.S., overcame Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to move to her first Wimbledon quarterfinal. Stephens next plays former runner-up Marion Bartoli of France, who beat Karin Knapp of Italy 6-2, 6-3.
Williams said Stephens has “a really good chance of winning” the title.
“Very nice of her,” Stephens said, who lost last year against Bartoli in the only time they’ve played. “I have a couple more matches to go ’til that happens. So just going to go out and play my hardest and see what I can do.”
Lisicki has now dumped the reigning French Open champion out of Wimbledon four times in five years. She said Williams put up a fight.
“She played unbelievable tennis, I gave it everything I had,” Lisicki said, “I just hung in there and fought for every single point.”
The 23rd-seeded Lisicki trailed 4-2 in the final set, then came back to 4-4 as she continued to fire serves of faster than 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour). Lisicki got to break point with a drop shot, and broke for a 5-4 lead as Williams sent a seemingly easy smash just over the baseline.
“She was just on today, she was definitely reading my serve,” Williams said. “She had nothing to lose.”
Serving for the biggest victory of her career, Lisicki set up her first match point with a service winner, only to squander it with a forehand long. A double fault followed to hand Williams a break point, which Lisicki saved with her 10th ace. A forehand winner after a long rally secured the win, with the victor falling to the grass in joy.
“She has one of the biggest serves on tour,” Williams said. “She’s actually super fast, she gets every ball back.”
It was the earliest loss in a major for Williams since she was eliminated in the opening round of the French Open last year. Since then, the 31-year-old had won Wimbledon, two Olympic gold medals, the U.S. Open and last month’s French Open. Today’s defeat ended a 34-match winning streak.
In the past five years at Wimbledon, Lisicki has eliminated French Open winners Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in 2009, Li Na of China in 2011 and Maria Sharapova of Russia last year.
Williams’s loss means there will be both new men’s and women’s singles champions. Defending men’s champion Roger Federer was upset five days ago in the second round, when a record seven players exited the tournament because of injuries.
Today was ‘Manic Monday’’ at Wimbledon -- when all 16 fourth-round matches are scheduled.
With two-time winner Rafael Nadal eliminated in the first round and seven-time champion Federer having lost, the 20th-seeded Youzhny had been the highest-ranked player left on Murray’s side of the draw.
The Scot, who is trying to become the first man from the British Isles to win the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, plays 54th-ranked Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals. After that, he would meet the winner of the first all-Polish men’s quarterfinal at Wimbledon, between 24th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz or 130th-ranked Lukasz Kubot.
Djokovic, the 2011 champion, plays former finalist Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who overcame Australia’s Bernard Tomic, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4.
“I lost to him the only time we played on grass, in 2010,” Djokovic said about seventh-seeded Berdych. “But I am playing really, really good tennis at the moment.”
Murray said he expects to be challenged in the coming rounds.
“I don’t expect to come in to win, there’s no guarantees at all,” Murray, who won his first Grand Slam title at last year’s U.S. Open, said when asked about his possible path to the final. “Serena lost today. Rafa and Roger also lost. If they can lose, so can I.”
Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion and the only former Wimbledon winner left on the women’s side, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. She’ll play Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens, who beat Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, in the quarterfinals.
Li defeated No. 11 seed Roberta Vinci, one of four Italians in the fourth round, 6-0, 6-2. The sixth-seeded Chinese player meets last year’s runner-up, Agnieszka Radwanska, in the last eight. Radwanska of Poland, at No. 4 the highest remaining seed in the women’s draw, defeated Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Kaia Kanepi of Estonia moved into the last eight by ending the run of 19-year-old Laura Robson, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5. Robson was the first British woman into the second week at Wimbledon since Sam Smith in 1998. Kanepi will play Lisicki for a spot in the semifinals.
“I’m really, really disappointed,” Robson said. “I had my chances here and there and I just didn’t take them.”
French Open men’s runner-up Ferrer of Spain overcame Dodig of Croatia, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 6-1. The unseeded Dodig had reached the fourth round after his opponents quit with illnesses in the first and third rounds.
Ferrer next plays former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, who beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.