Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Up is down at Wimbledon: Williams' 34-match winning streak ends in 4th-round against Lisicki

  • Article by: HOWARD FENDRICH , AP Tennis Writer
  • Last update: July 1, 2013 - 10:05 PM

One will give the country its first male semifinalist at a major tournament.

"We hugged. We are happy," Janowicz said. "Magical."

Janowicz's serve reached 137 mph and his temper flared on occasion as he beat 37th-ranked Jurgen Melzer 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, while Kubot also won a five-setter, celebrating with a can-can dance routine after hitting 26 aces to eliminate 111th-ranked Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Both Janowicz and Kubot benefited from one of the record-equaling 13 withdrawals or mid-match retirements last week, another element fueling the tournament's topsy-turvy feel.

"Everyone was a bit on edge, a little bit uptight, because of what was happening with the injuries, withdrawals, upsets and stuff," said Murray, who like Djokovic hasn't lost a set. "Obviously, Serena losing today is a major shock, as well."

Late Monday afternoon, British bookmakers were making Lisicki the favorite to win a trophy that hours earlier seemed destined for Williams. Asked whether that affects her in any way, Lisicki shot back: "No, not at all." Not even a little bit? Lisicki didn't blink and answered, "No."

It was the same steely demeanor the quick-with-a-smile Lisicki displayed at key moments on court, weathering a near-collapse in which Williams grabbed nine consecutive games to take the second set and go up 3-0 in the third.

"I just was fighting for every single point," Lisicki said, "no matter what was happening out there."

Williams hadn't lost a match anywhere since her three-set defeat against Azarenka in the final of the Qatar Open on Feb. 17. She hadn't even lost a set since the French Open quarterfinals against Svetlana Kuznetsova on June 4. But Lisicki showed things would be different Monday with an early five-game run, including when she smacked a forehand return winner to break at love and take the opening set.

Lisicki yelled, "Come on!" The crowd, eager to see something special, roared. Williams walked to the sideline slowly, stunned.

"I just was thinking, 'Let's get to a third set,'" Williams said. "That's what I always say when I lose a first set."

Going from considerable trouble to total control, as if simply by wishing to do so, Williams produced 43 masterful minutes in which Lisicki did not win a single game. Williams did not have an unforced error in the second set, and she even got some unneeded assistance early in the third, with two consecutive return winners that both clipped the net tape and bounced over.

"I felt," Williams said, "that I was on the verge of winning."

Lisicki finally ended the drought by holding to 3-1 with one of her four second-serve aces in the match, then a 115 mph service winner.

"Huge serves," Williams said. "Constantly, constantly, back-to-back-to-back."

That's how her opponents usually feel. But Lisicki managed to get better reads on returns late, and broke to get within 4-3 with a forehand passing winner as Williams lost her footing and fell to her knees. The next game was key. Lisicki fell behind love-40, meaning Williams had three break points, any of which would give her a 5-3 lead and allow her to serve for the match.

But Lisicki wouldn't fold.

"I put more pressure on her," she said. "I started to be more aggressive again."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close