It’s already been a surprising championship with big names including Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal losing in the early stages, but Williams’ fourth-round defeat was perhaps the most shocking of all.
Taking her place on centre court, Williams was up against 23 seed Sabine Lisicki, a player who thrives on the grass and has been known to beat big players. Odds-on favourite Williams lost the opening set 2-6 but strongly came back in the second, which she won 6-1.
Serena won nine consecutive games and looked secure to win the match when 3-0 up in the final set. But much to everyone’s surprise, and fully down to her sheer determination, Lisicki broke back and once again overcame Williams’ powerful serve to level the set 4-4. And the German didn’t stop there – she produced an outstanding performance and created shockwaves at SW19 after winning the match 6-2 1-6 6-4.
Emotions ran high from centre court through to court one where Laura Robson played her fourth-round match against Kaia Kanepi. Robson, who was the first British woman to reach the fourth round in 15 years, was bidding to reach the quarter-finals since Jo Durie in 1984.
However, the fairy-tale ending to the ladies title wasn’t meant to be as Robson lost the first-set tie-break, despite leading 5-2. Nerves found their way into the match after this loss and Robson’s game was greatly affected – she started missing serves and mis-hit her forehands. But the most disappointing part of the match was the crowd – hardly anyone encouraged the nineteen-year-old and court one rang with sighs every time Robson missed a shot. Even though she put all her effort into the second set, Robson couldn’t keep up with Kanepi (46) and lost 5-7, despite saving four match points.