Maria Sharapova shrieks with pain as Sabine Lisicki sends her crashing

German beats world No 1 in straight sets to avenge defeat last year

Wimbledon

Prior to facing Maria Sharapova yesterday, Sabine Lisicki had been asked if she would complain to the umpire that the world No 1's shrieking was putting her off, as she had done, with successful results, in the second round when facing Bojana Jovanovski. The young German dodged the question. Come the match, she found another way to silence Sharapova, ending the former champion's tournament and reversing last year's semi-final defeat with a stunning straight-sets victory. Sharapova continued shrieking to the end but the cries increasingly sounded like ones of anguish.

"It's revenge, for all three times she's beaten me," said a beaming Lisicki. There are likely to be many more opportunities for vengeance – with Sharapova 25 and Lisicki 22 this could become an enduring rivalry. Both hit the ball hard but it was the German's powerful groundstrokes which were more potent in a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Having failed to take two match points, once putting a simple forehand into the net, Lisicki clinched the match with an ace. She sunk to her knees as if she had won the tournament itself.

It was a victory she could not have envisaged a month ago after a very poor spell in which she lost the opening match in six tournaments, including Edgbaston when she was No 2 seed. Her confidence, wrote Independent columnist Nick Bollettieri yesterday, "was shot". Lisicki retreated to the Bollettieri IMG Academy where the 80-year-old coach told her: "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop making excuses, get out there and hit it."

Which is what she did on Court One yesterday.

Lisicki explained: "I didn't play well in my last few tournaments so I went to Florida, I practised, got my confidence and shots back, I had fun again, I felt much better coming in here," she said. "Even though I lost the first game I felt great. As I got the break in the second set I knew I going to take it home."

That break came after a rain delay which seemed to affect Sharapova's focus. She won just three of the next 12 points by which stage the Russian, also a Bollettieri graduate, was 3-0 down. There had been five breaks in the opening set but Lisicki had found her serve. "She hits the ball really hard," said Sharapova.

"She likes to be the aggressive one and start the point with a really heavy shot. She came out after the rain delay really firing. There's no doubt she has a lot of potential. If she plays at this level she belongs at the top, but it is not just about one tournament."

Sharapova knows what she is talking about. Lisicki is seeded 15 while Sharapova's consistency had taken her to world No 1 after her success in the French Open but Victoria Azarenka's 6-1, 6-0 drubbing of Ana Ivanovic yesterday means Sharapova will lose top spot, either to the Belarusian or Agnieszka Radwanska.

Lisicki now plays her compatriot Angelique Kerber, seeded eight. It is the first time two Germans have been in the ladies quarter-finals since 1987, when Steffi Graf was joined by Claudia Kohde-Kilsch. Kerber made it a sad farewell to Wimbledon for Kim Clijsters, who was demolished 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes. Clijsters, like Sharapova, is a four-time Grand Slam champion, but in her case never a Wimbledon finalist.

That will not change as she intends to retire again, this time for good, after the US Open. Now 29 and that rarest of items on the tennis circuit, a mother, Clijsters saved two match points but was never in the contest. She departed without fanfare, just packing up her bag as if she had finished a routine match. "I'm not sorry [about leaving Wimbledon for the last time] as I've always given my best. Some days it's good, some days it's great, some days it's not good enough."

She said she will, however, take many memories into retirement, among them playing Graf and attending the Champions Ball (after winning the doubles).

"Watching on television as a junior in Belgium I felt the magic through the TV. This was for me like Disneyland was to another child."

Kerber, who conceded only seven points on serve, will be making her Wimbledon quarter-final debut. "I maybe have to pinch myself," she said. "Pressure? I enjoy this. I have nothing to lose. I lost here in the first round last year now I am in the quarters. So I will go out and have fun."

The Azarenka-Ivanovic match begun under clouds and finished under the Centre Court roof but whatever the setting, the second seed was far too good for the former world No 1. Azarenka, a semi-finalist last year, now plays unseeded 21-year-old Austrian Tamira Paszek, the youngest player left in the draw and the only remaining non-seed.

Facts in figures

22%: Break points converted (two out of nine) by Schiavone in her defeat by Kvitova

19: Winners hit by Azarenka in her 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Ivanovic

35: Clijsters' match against Kerber was her 35th and last at SW19

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?