Defending champion Serena Williams was knocked out in the fourth round of Wimbledon by Sabine Lisicki.
Lisicki of Germany beat the top-seeded American, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 on Centre Court at the All England Club in southwest London.
It was the earliest defeat in a major for Williams since she lost in the opening round of the French Open last year. Since then, Williams had won Wimbledon, double Olympic gold, the U.S. Open and this month’s French Open. Today’s defeat ends a 34-match win streak for five-time champion Williams, the second- longest this century behind her sister Venus.
The 23-year-old from Troisdorf fought off four break points and took advantage of a rash of Williams unforced errors as she broke twice to win the opening set.
Williams, 31, was not about to go quietly and roared back in the second, winning 14 points in a row at one stage and not making a single unforced error as she levelled, winning it 6-1.
The American was on a roll and did not need any luck but from 40-0 down, two net cords helped her to an early break in the decider.
When Williams racked up her ninth straight game to move 3-0 clear, it was turning into a procession, but Lisicki stuck to her task.
The German got the better of three breaks in a row as she fought back from 4-2 down, thrilling the 15,000 spectators on Centre Court.
Williams had been in the ascendancy for well over an hour, but at 4-4 in the final set she found herself facing break points and, stretched to the limit, the champion could not control a smash, which flew over the baseline.
One more service game was required by Lisicki, and it was never likely to be straightforward.
After being pegged back to 30-30, she blasted long on her first match point and double-faulted to offer up a break point for Williams, but the German’s serve came to her rescue.