Wimbledon 2013: Sabine Lisicki not finished yet after Queen of SW19 Serena Williams is defeated

German targets title in wake of surprise win over reigning champion Williams

Wimbledon

Serena Williams said this defeat was “not a shock”, but her conqueror knew better. Having sent a forehand past the defending champion to secure the biggest win of her life Sabine Lisicki fell to the floor and lay prostrate and overwhelmed. As she climbed to her feet the tears welled up while a smile the width of the Rhine lit up her face.

This was the fourth Wimbledon at which Lisicki has downed the newly crowned champion of the French Open, but defeating Li Na, Svetlana Kuznetsova and even Maria Sharapova is one thing; beating the Queen of SW19 is another level and she knew it.

Lisicki is seeded 23 but, as Williams noted, on grass she should be ranked far higher. The 23-year-old reached the semi-finals here in 2011, also reaching the women’s doubles final, and indicated after this win she felt she was capable of going all the way.

“I went into the match believing I could win,” she said, adding this was not just because she viewed the French Open link as a “good omen”. “I’ve played four very good matches and I think I play better each match,” she said. Estonia’s unseeded Kaia Kanepi, who dispatched Laura Robson yesterday, is Lisicki’s quarter-final opponent, with either Agnieszka Radwanska or Li, the two highest seeds remaining in the women’s draw at four and six respectively, waiting in the semi.

German-born of Polish parents, Lisicki lives in Florida, training at Nick Bollettieri’s academy. With a serve as fast as Williams’ (both averaged 109mph on their first serve) and a similarly powerful groundstrokes Lisicki traded blows and winners with the American. Taking the champion by surprise, Lisicki won the first set 6-2 on the back of eight successive points on Williams’ serve that secured back-to-back breaks. The champion’s response was  to blow Lisicki away to  take the second set 6-1 in 27  cyclonic minutes.

Normal service seemed to have been resumed, especially when Williams marched to a 4-2 third-set lead, but Lisicki stunned her and an enraptured Centre Court crowd by winning the next four games. On her first match point she overhit a forehand. Lisicki then served a double-fault to hand Williams a break point for 5-5. It seemed the pressure had got to her, but the German sent down an ace, then served out for a notable victory.

In the immediate aftermath Lisicki could barely control herself. “It is an amazing feeling to win this match,” she said. “I love this court so much. It is such a special place. I gave it everything. I fought for every single point.”

Later she admitted “I am very emotional, on and off the court.” The challenge now is controlling that emotion. Kim Clisters tweeted yesterday, echoing similar comments by Ivan Lendl about Sergiy Stakhovsky, who lost the round after putting out Roger Federer: “So many players think tournament is done when beating top player! #refocus #no celebrations yet.” Told of this Lisicki said: “I’m already focused for tomorrow.”

To emphasise that, Lisicki and her mixed doubles partner, Bahamian Mark Knowles, pulled out of their match on Monday night, conceding a walkover.

For Williams, there is not even the consolation of another ladies’ doubles title – with sister Venus absent she is not competing. This was her first defeat in 35 matches and she said: “For me any loss is extremely tough to overcome. I didn’t play what I usually do best, I had opportunities and didn’t take them. I didn’t play the big points good enough. She played a super-aggressive game.”

The other matches in the women’s fourth round involving seeds all went by the book, although Tsvetana Pironkova threatened a shock when she took the first set against Radwanska 6-4. The Bulgarian has a good record at Wimbledon, having previously reached the last four, but last year’s finalist rallied to take the next two sets 6-3. She meets Li, who brusquely dismissed Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-0. This was despite her husband infuriating her by hitting slices during her warm-up.

It was, she said, a surprise to play so well as “I was so nervous because my husband [Jiang Shan, a coach in his own right] tried to hit slice. Men play different to women and I couldn’t [time] the ball. But he was happy as I think it is his job to make me unhappy.

“My coach Carlos [Rodriguez], he told me ‘today, fourth round, is the contract – tomorrow is the bonus’. I want to cash the bonus.”

In the other half of the draw Sloane Stephens, the only American of either sex left playing in the singles, came back from one set down to defeat Monica Puig 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. The Puerto Rican teenager has had a stunning Wimbledon debut but she ran out of steam against the No 17 seed. Stephens is now carrying the hopes of a nation but she may draw confidence from Serena Williams suggesting that, in the wake of her own exit, Stephens can be champion.

“She has a great draw,” noted Williams. Maybe. Stephens now faces Marion Bartoli, the No 15 seed and 2007 runner-up who is yet to drop a set. She is then likely to meet Petra Kvitova, the 2011 winner, though she must first beat Kirsten Flipkens, the Belgian No 20 seed who is finally winning on grass, having previously played as if she regarded it as suitable for cows, but not tennis.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
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.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?