What do you say when the 34 match winning streak of a champion comes to an abrupt end when it is least expected. This is what happened at the Wimbledon yesterday when the world number one Serena Williams bowed out of the tournament losing her 4th round match against German Sabine Lisicki. The German heartthrob not just ousted the reigning world number one; she also dashed her hopes of a 6th Wimbledon title. Serena joins the likes of Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Victoria Aazarenka who have all been ousted out of this tournament this year. Wimbledon 2013 is certainly going down in history as the tournament of upsets.
The 23rd seed at this year’s Wimbledon was very emotional after her victory over Serena Williams and one could easily see tears in her eyes as she stepped out of the court after a handshake with Serena and also during the TV interview that followed the match. Sabine is known on the tennis circuit for her strong serve and she used it to good effect to put the defending champion on the defensive right at the start of the match. Though Sabine has been to the semi finals of Wimbledon in 2011, this victory over Serena remains her best performance on tennis courts till date.
‘I am shaking’, and ‘I am just so happy’ were the two phrases that Sabine kept using after the match and during the post match interview while replying to a volley of questions from the reporters. Even after beating the defending champion, Sabine was full of praise for Serena as she described her as a great champion and a very tough opponent who is extremely hard to beat.
Sabine is definitely Queen elect in a sense as Serena is the undisputed Queen at Wimbledon, having won 5 titles already. She was overawed by the situation momentarily as she shook hands with Serena and the two of them walked off the Centre Court. She was all nerves during these moments but she hardly displayed any nervousness during the match and never for a moment did it look like she was in awe of the Queen of Wimbledon. She used her powerful serve to make Serena dance all over the court and also left her gasping for air many time as she hit those smashes and volleys.
Sabine said after the match that she somehow felt that she could beat Serena. She said that having beaten French Open champion three times during the last three Wimbledon tournaments gave her the confidence that she could also beat Serena, who is the current French Open champion. Lisicki lost to Maria Sharapova in semi finals of Wimbledon 2011. She is a product of Nick Bollettieri Academy where she is said to have learnt both the powerful serves and English that she speaks so fluently.
With major threats gone, Lisicki can hope to win the Wimbledon crown this year. It is certainly good news for women’s tennis.