Serena Williams may have come into Wimbledon looking unbeatable, but Sabine Lisicki had other ideas about their fourth-round match.
The 23rd-seeded German managed to pull off the upset of the tournament, bouncing the five-time Wimbledon champion, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, Monday on Centre Court at the All-England Club. Williams, who won the French Open in early June, came into the match riding a 19-set winning streak at Wimbledon, dating back to the London Olympics, and fought off a match point before falling to the player known as Boom Boom because of her serve.
So much for Williams’s 34-match winning streak.
“She plays really good on grass,” Williams said afterward. “She has a massive, massive serve. So going in there you have to know that it’s definitely not going to be an easy match playing her at Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court.
“It’s definitely not a shock. I just need to do better.”
Lisicki had to dig deep in the third set, fighting back from a three-games-to-none deficit. Afterward, she giggled and expressed her disbelief about beating the No. 1 player in the world.
“It’s unbelievable,” she told the BBC after the match. As for trailing in the third set, she said, “I gave it everything I have. … I just hang [sic]in there and fought for every single point to try to win it somehow.”
Lisicki went into her match against Williams calm and focused. “Everybody’s a human being,” Lisicki said (via the Guardian) over the weekend. “I was in that situation last year when everybody was saying that [then No. 1 Maria] Sharapova was the favorite. I’m probably going into that match being the underdog, but I like that. I have nothing to lose.”
Lisicki, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2011, beat Sharapova in the fourth round last year, and Williams was clearly vulnerable after dropping the first set. When she does so at Wimbledon, she is a mere mortal with, now, an 8-8 record.
“For me, any loss is extremely tough to overcome,” Williams said. “I don’t think it’s a huge shock. She’s a great player. Her ranking has no effect … especially on grass; she just has a super, super game. I’ll just have to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to win this match next time.”
Lisicki, who now has beaten the reigning French Open champion the last three years and four of the last five, will play Kaia Kanepi, who beat Laura Robson 7-6, 7-5 Monday, in a quarterfinal match.
“I’m not thinking about that yet,” Lisicki said.