LONDON: Serena Williams became the latest victim of this year’s Wimbledon giant killings as the world No. 1 slumped to a stunning 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 defeat against German 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday.
Williams followed second seed Victoria Azarenka and world number three Maria Sharapova out of the women’s tournament, while defending champion Roger Federer and two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal suffered shock exits from the men’s draw in the first week.
Since an embarrassing first round loss against Virginie Razzano at last year’s French Open, Williams had won 77 of her 80 matches, collecting the Wimbledon, US Open, French Open and Olympic titles in the process.
The 31-year-old, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, had swept through the first week, dropping just 11 games in her opening three matches to extend her winning run to 34 matches, but she had no answer to Lisicki’s big-serve and booming ground-strokes.
“I’m still shaking, I’m so happy”, said Lisicki, breaking into tears.
“Serena played a fantastic match. She’s such a tough opponent and it’s just an amazing feeling to win.”
Serena felt she let victory slip away, saying: “I definitely made too many errors, but she was playing with nothing to lose. When you play with such freedom this kind of thing can happen.
“I felt I was on the verge of winning in the third set but I was physically unable to hold serve after that.”
Lisicki, a semifinalist in 2011 who has never been past the fourth round at any other Grand Slam, will play Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi for a place in the last four.
Kanepi had shattered Britain’s dreams of a first woman in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for 29 years, beating unseeded Laura Robson 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.
Robson was bidding to become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinals since Jo Durie at Wimbledon in 1984, but the Australia-born teenager left Court One crying tears of frustration.