Wimbledon: Lisicki Stuns Serena
Here's proof yet again that elite athletes aren't machines.
Serena Williams had her 34-match winning streak halted when Sabine Lisicki of Germany broke service twice in the third set and registered a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 triumph over the most dominant player on the women's tour. Williams was attempting to add to her five titles at the All-England Club.
This loss underscores just what an accomplishment it is -- for Williams or any other tennis legend -- to have accumulated a haul like that.
Tennis trivia buffs -- there must be some of them somewhere -- will note that this is the fourth time Lisicki has come to Wimbledon and beaten the reigning French Open champion.
The German was down 3-0 in the final set when she found her forehand and battled back to square the score at 4-4. Almost as surprising, Lisicki out-aced the powerful Williams, delivering 10 more winners. Serena had twice as many break opportunities but converted less than half of them to open the door for Lisicki's upset.
The dethroned champion now joins such luminaries as Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal on the sidelines at SW19.
Meanwhile, the 23rd-seed Lisicki now meets Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals. Kanepi eliminated the last British contestant, Laura Robson -- 7-6 (6), 7-5 -- in a match worthy of no more than an outside court in the famed tennis complex. Kanepi, ranked 46th in the world, will have to do much better if she expects to abbreviate Lisicki's run.
The highest seed remaining is Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, entered at Number Four in the bracket, who was challenged early by Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria for the remaining spot in the quarters before she settled down and prevailed, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. China's Li Na, seeded sixth, will provide her opposition after a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of Italy's Roberta Vinci.