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Serena stunned by Lisicki at Wimbledon

12:54 PM, Jul 1, 2013   |    comments
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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 Wimbledon.

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 championships.

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 affair.

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 tussle.

"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 the final.

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

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