Things went very much not as planned Monday at Wimbledon — world No. 1 Maria Sharapova exited, as did former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, competing at her last Wimbledon. Roger Federer fought through a back problem/injury, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic won under a closed roof, and the majority of the men’s matches were postponed mid-match by rain.
Sharapova will drop the No. 1 ranking after her loss to Sabine Lisicki, who matched the Russian power for power while mixing in elements Sharapova doesn’t possess — deft slice, angles and timely drop shots.
“She did many things much better than I did today,” Sharapova said. “Of course, I could have done things differently, but not on this particular day.”
It was Lisicki’s first win over Sharapova in four tries.
“That’s my game, to serve well and be aggressive,” said Lisicki, who closed out match point on a second-serve ace. “That’s what I did. I think it worked well. As soon as I got the break in the second set, I knew, ‘I’m going to take it home.’”
Lisicki will next meet fellow German Angelique Kerber, who thumped Clijsters 6-1, 6-1.
Sharapova will be replaced at No. 1 by either former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka or Poland’s Aggie Radwanska, both winners on Monday.
Azarenka pounded No. 14 seed and fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-0. Radwanska beat Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3, and will next meet No. 17 seed Maria Kirilenko, who topped China’s Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-3.
Unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek also advanced Monday, defeating Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Serena Williams edged by a motivated Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.
“In the right moments,” Shvedova said, “she did the right things.”
Serena and Kvitova, the only former champs remaining, will face each other next round.
“She’s obviously a great grasscourt player, as well as I am,” Williams said of Kvitova. “I’ll be ready.”
Federer needed the rare help from a trainer during his 7-6(1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, tended to for back problems that after the match he said would not be a problem in the next round.
“I was happy they kept [the roof] open because it is an outdoor tournament. We don’t want to play indoors all the time. It’s not that big of a deal coming on and off,” Federer said of finishing his match amidst the drizzles that eventually cancelled play. “I know spectators would rather see a match than sitting in the rain.”
When the roof finally did close, the all-Serbian match-up of Djokovic and Viktor Troicki was put on, then relatively quickly taken off after the world No. 1 won 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.
“It’s good for me to finish and to have a day of practice and get ready for next challenge,” Djokovic said about the advantage of being able to play under a closed roof during the English rains. “I played only the first match outdoors, and then all the three next ones were under the closed roof. It’s a bit more humid. The balls get a bit bigger. Maybe the grass gets more slippery on the back of the court. They’re doing a really good job with arranging the temperature inside. Because when it gets around 15,000 people in the stands, they’re really making sure the grass is not too slippery.”
On Wednesday Federer will face Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who beat Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in five sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5.
Afterwards Youzhny didn’t exude confidence at the thought of facing the Swiss GOAT.
“I never beat this guy. So just now I can’t talk about my dreams, what I have to do on court to beat Roger,” Youzhny said. “If he gives you some chances, you have to take them immediately, because maybe you will never have a second chance.”
In matches that were postponed due to rain, Andy Murray led 7-5, 3-1 against Croatia’s Marin Cilic, Mardy Fish led 6-4, 1-1 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Florian Mayer led 6-3, 2-1 against Richard Gasquet. Matches that never got started were Philipp Kohlschreiber against American qualifier Brian Baker, and David Ferrer versus Juan Martin del Potro.
On court Tuesday at Wimbledon will be (7) David Ferrer vs. (9) Juan Martin Del Potro, (4) Petra Kvitova vs. (6) Serena Williams, (15) Sabine Lisicki vs. (8) Angelique Kerber, (4) Andy Murray vs. (16) Marin Cilic, (3) Agnieszka Radwanska vs. (17) Maria Kirilenko, Tamira Paszek vs. (2) Victoria Azarenka, (10) Mardy Fish vs. (5) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, (31) Florian Mayer vs. (18) Richard Gasquet, and (Q) Brian Baker vs. (27) Philipp Kohlschreiber.
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