The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

July 1, 2013

Williams loses to Lisicki in Wimbledon stunner

— LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams joined a growing list of marquee names eliminated early at this wild and unpredictable Wimbledon.

The defending champion and five-time Wimbledon winner failed to close out a see-saw third set Monday, dropping the last four games to Sabine Lisicki of Germany and losing 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round. The result ended Williams' career-best 34-match winning streak.

It was the latest in a string of improbable exits to jolt the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

"I probably couldn't be more disappointed," Williams said. "I think I may have backed off of a success. I was playing something successful. I didn't continue that path. The result didn't go the way it could have gone had I continued to play the way I did in the second set."

Of the two big favorites still in the tournament, second-seeded Andy Murray stayed on course for a second straight final by beating 20th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1, while top-ranked Novak Djokovic played Tommy Haas later.

After dropping the first set, Williams looked to be cruising, winning nine straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the third. The players then traded breaks to give Williams a 4-2 lead, but the American couldn't win another game despite having four break points at 4-3.

Those would have given her a chance to serve for the match. Instead, Lisicki held, broke again, and converted her second match point with a forehand winner.

"I'm still shaking," Lisicki said in a post-match interview, covering her face with her hands to wipe away tears. "I'm just so happy."

Williams said her serve — usually her main weapon — let her down in the third set.

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