Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Serena Williams will not be a repeat
champion at Wimbledon after she was a stunning fourth-round loser Monday
against German Sabine Lisicki at The Championships.
The 23rd-seeded Lisicki took down the world No. 1 superstar in 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
fashion on the famed Centre Court at the All England Club. Williams was riding
a career-best 34-match winning streak.
The giant-killer Lisicki is now 6-4 lifetime against top-10 women at
Williams is still the reigning French and U.S. Open champion and also captured
an Olympic gold medal at the All England Club last year.
Lisicki overcame a 3-0 deficit in the third set to oust the five-time
champion and two-time Wimbledon runner-up Williams, who is a 16-time Grand
Slam singles titlist who had won three of the previous four Wimbledon
The 23-year-old Lisicki stunningly broke Williams for a 5-4 lead in the final
set when the American great misfired long with a backhand.
Serving for the match, Lisicki failed on a first match point when she sent a
forehand long, but she got another shot at a match point when Williams netted
a forehand return.
Lisicki converted on that second match point with a forehand winner into a
wide-open court, which marked her fifth break of Williams in the see-saw
The match ended in 2 hours, 4 minutes, as the German smacked 10 aces, compared
to seven for Williams. Both players broke serve five times in the tense
"I didn't play the big points good enough," Williams said. "I didn't do what
I do best."
"I think Sabine played really well," Williams added. "There's huge room for
improvement for me."
When asked is Lisicki was reading her serve well on Monday, Williams said:
"Yeah, I felt like she was just on today. She has a super, super game to play
really well on grass."
A determined Lisicki lost only three fewer points than Williams, served more
aces, won 14 of her 16 net approaches, and hit 10 more winners, against only
two more errors, than her American counterpart on Monday.
"I'm still shaking, I'm so happy," said a tearful Lisicki, who fell flat on
her stomach at the moment of triumph. "It's amazing, I love this court so
much. It's unbelievable!"
Lisicki is now 1-2 lifetime against the 31-year-old Williams. This was their
first-ever meeting on the German's favorite surface, grass.
Williams, who topped Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in last year's Wimbledon
finale, fell to 46-3 overall this year.
Lisicki will appear in her fourth career Grand Slam quarterfinal -- all at
Wimbledon. She reached the semifinals here two years ago.
The German has defeated the last three reigning French Open champions at
Wimbledon. She beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round in 2010, Li Na in
the second round in 2011, and Maria Sharapova in the fourth round last year.
The Williams loss means that a member of the "Big Three" -- Williams, Victoria
Azarenka and Sharapova -- will not win a major event for the first time
since the 2011 U.S. Open. One of the three women had won each of the last six
Slams. Azarenka pulled out of her second-round match because of a knee injury
last week, while Sharapova was shocked by Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito
in the second round on the same day as Azarenka's pull out.
A fourth-seeded Radwanska improved to 10-1 at Wimbledon over the last two
years by coming from behind to best Bulgarian grass-court specialist
Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Pironkova was a semifinalist here in 2010
and reached the quarters in 2011.
The now four-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Radwanska will face sixth-seeded
Chinese star Li Na in her next assignment on Tuesday.
In other fourth-round action involving top-eight seeds, the now three-time
Wimbledon quarterfinalist Li thrashed 11th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-2,
6-0 and No. 8 Czech Petra Kvitova reached her fourth straight Wimbledon
quarterfinal by handling 19th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (7-5),
6-3. Li was this year's Australian Open runner-up to Azarenka and is a former
French Open champ. The quality left-hander Kvitova captured her lone Grand
Slam title here at the All England Club two years ago by beating Sharapova in
A seeded American avoided an upset on Monday when No. 17 Sloane Stephens came
from behind to beat Puerto Rico's Monica Puig, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Stephens, who was a surprise Aussie Open semifinalist back in January and is
the only American, male of female, to reach the quarters here, will tangle
with 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli in the round of eight.
Also on Day 7, the 15th-seeded and now three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist
Bartoli blitzed Italian Karin Knapp 6-2, 6-3, 20th-seeded Belgian Kirsten
Flipkens reached her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal by besting
Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, and capable Estonian Kaia Kanepi
knocked out left-handed heavy British favorite Laura Robson 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.
Flipkens will face Kvitova in the quarterfinals, while the now two-time
Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kanepi will battle Lisicki in the round of eight on
Tuesday. Kanepi is the only non-seed still standing.
The Sports Network