The Sport Matrix: Monday 01 July 2013


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The Independent Online

Williams suffers shock defeat to world No 24 Lisicki

The needle on Wimbledon’s shockometer, which has been lurching wildly for the last eight days, all but leapt off the scale yesterday as Serena Williams suffered one of the most remarkable defeats in All England Club history. The defending champion and world No 1 had been a red-hot favourite to claim her sixth Wimbledon title but her run of 34 successive victories ended when she was beaten 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 by Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, the world No 24.

“I didn’t play the big points well enough,” Williams said. “Sabine 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.”

Lisicki, above, reached the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago but had lost both her previous meetings with Williams, who had begun the day as 1-4 favourite to win the title. Williams had won five tournaments in a row coming into Wimbledon, including last month’s French Open, and had not been beaten since February. wimbledon, pages 50-53

Warburton ruled out of series decider

Lions captain Sam Warburton has been ruled out of the third Test with a hamstring injury, the flanker lamenting the “incredibly disappointing” news. Brian O’Driscoll could be captain or a substitute. Asked about selection, he said: “I’ll go with the flow like everyone else.” page 47

Wakefield clinch last-gasp victory

A 79th-minute drop goal by Lee Smith gave Wakefield a 27-26 win over Hull FC at the KC Stadium last night. Peter Fox touched down twice for Wakefield as they chalked up three victories in a row for the first time in a year, while Ben Crooks scored three tries for Hull.

Murray and Djokovic progress

Andy Murray beat Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 to progress to the Wimbledon quarter-final, where he will play Spain’s Fernando Verdasco. Novak Djokovic also eased through, beating Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-4, 7-6. The Serb faces Tomas Berdych in the next round. page 52

Robson’s campaign comes to a close

Britain’s Laura Robson was beaten by Kaia Kanepi 7-6 7-5 in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Robson said of her Estonian opponent afterwards: “In theory I’m ranked higher, but she’s made [quarter-finals] before here, she’s very tough on grass and loves playing here.” page 51

Swann OK after arm injury scare 

Graeme Swann escaped injury in England’s Ashes warm-up match against Essex yesterday. Swann was struck on the right arm while batting at Chelmsford and was then sent for an X-ray before the off-spinner was given the all-clear. page 48

Gerrans triumphs in sprint finish

Australian veteran Simon Gerrans won an agonisingly close sprint duel with Peter Sagan by less than half a wheel to clinch stage three of the Tour de France. Gerrans, 33, beat the Slovak after a 145.5km ride from Ajaccio to Calvi. page 49

Napoli demand full price for Cavani

Napoli are determined to hold out for their full asking price of €63m (£54m) before letting forward Edinson Cavani leave for Chelsea. It is understood that the Premier League club had an offer of €50m plus Fernando Torres rejected. page 45

Wilshere: Rooney would suit Arsenal

Jack Wilshere says teams would fear Arsenal if they signed Wayne Rooney. “He is the type of player who can win you trophies,” he said. “His name on the team sheet brings fear to the opposition.” Arsenal last night signed Auxerre’s Yaya Sanogo.

Tyre testing finally given green light

Formula One’s rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, yesterday agreed with FIA head Jean Todt to allow tyre supplier Pirelli to do two three-day tests. This follows the multiple tyre failures at the British Grand Prix. page 45

Opinion: James Lawton

Andy Murray is a player of nerve and fine judgment and quite remarkable skill and, if his sudden collapse against Mikhail Youzhny was quite stunning, his recovery was no less astonishing. page 53