By Chad Hoyle
Through a first week already brimming with upsets, a shocking turn of events at Wimbledon on Monday has lead to the early departure of the unanimous favorite to win the Women's singles event. Serena Williams, in an uncharacteristic disappointment despite asserting her dominance the entire tournament, was eliminated from the draw by German Sabine Lisicki in their Fourth Round match, 2-6, 6-1, 4-6. Nearly as shocked to win as Serena was to lose, Lisicki discovered another gear in the final set, en route to ending Williams' career best 34-match winning streak.
Lisicki held court in the first set, topping Serena six games to two; the only set lost by Williams since the tournament began a week ago. Seldom faltered, Serena returned to dominance in the second set with a lopsided 6-1 victory. Williams seemed to be back to her game after the second and into the third, quickly going up on Lisicki four games to two.
Lisicki, though, had a secret weapon waiting for Serena: a vicious serve averaging around 120mph that overpowered the formidable Williams. "On the grass, with the surface being a lot faster, it's going to be more difficult to break her," Serena said, who could have inserted impossible in place of more difficult. Williams, at 4-2 in the final set, missed 4 break point opportunities and failed to win another game, foiling her hopes of a sixth singles victory at the All England Club.
Even though Serena was the overall favorite to win the Women's draw, odds makers would have highlighted Sabine Lisicki for the possible upset. The German has previously reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2011, and this match marked the fourth time that Lisicki has eliminated the currently reigning French Open champion from the fortnight.
Lisicki looks ahead through a depleted quarterfinal field towards her match against Estonian Kaia Kanepi. After Serena's early exit, 20 year old Sloane Stevens is the only American competitor remaining in either single's draw.
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