Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Maria Sharapova and outgoing
former top-ranked star Kim Clijsters bowed out of The Championships on Monday,
while reigning champion Petra Kvitova and four-time winner Serena Williams
moved into the quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2012.
Sharapova was upended by 15th-seeded big-serving German Sabine Lisicki 6-4,
6-3 on Court 1 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Lisicki avenged her
semifinal loss against Sharapova in the semifinals here a year ago and had
been 0-3 lifetime against the tall Russian.
Lisicki, nicknamed "Boom-Boom" just like her fellow German and former men's
star Boris Becker, popped six aces and broke Sharapova four times in the 84-
minute affair, while the Russian veteran settled for five aces and only a pair
of breaks in a surprisingly-easy win for Lisicki.
Sharapova was trying to become the first woman since Williams in 2002 to
capture the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. The Russian star
completed a career Grand Slam last month by securing her first French Open
The 25-year-old Sharapova captured her lone Wimbledon championship in 2004,
when she beat Williams in the final at the tender age of 17, and was last
year's runner-up here to the lefthanded Kvitova.
Sharapova was seeking a trip into a fourth major final in her last five tries.
In addition to winning the French and losing to Kvitova here last year, the
Russian lost to Victoria Azarenka in this year's Australian Open finale.
Meanwhile, a fourth-seeded Kvitova posted her 11th straight victory at the
AELTC with a come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over 24th-seeded Italian
Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champ and 2011 Roland Garros runner-
up, and a sixth-seeded Williams again went the distance, but again came out
victorious with a hard-fought, fourth-round victory over Kazakhstan's
Kvitova got past Schiavone in 2 hours, 39 minutes with the help of 13 double
faults from the Italian veteran. The big Czech broke Schiavone four times,
while the gritty Italian could manage only two breaks in defeat.
Williams had to rally from a set down to beat China's Zheng Jie in the third
round on Saturday, prevailing 9-7 in the decisive stanza, and went deep into
the third set Monday to dispose of Shvedova, advancing to the quarters with a
6-1, 2-6, 7-5 triumph.
The 13-time Grand Slam singles champion Williams and Kvitova will lock horns
in the round of eight.
The 30-year-old Williams breezed through the first set on a cold and rainy
Monday in 26 minutes, but Shvedova, who played a "golden set" by winning
every point in the first set of her third-round win over last month's French
Open runner-up Sara Errani on Saturday, had an answer with a dominant
second set in 34 minutes.
As rain picked up and other courts stopped play, Court No. 2 remained active
and the third set remained on serve until late.
Williams picked up three break points in the ninth game, only to watch
Shvedova save all three and hold. In the 11th game, Williams again earned a
pair of break points and needed only one to convert when Shvedova's backhand
Shvedova, though, fought through the next game and thought she'd hit a winner
on a brilliant angle that would have given her a break point. Williams,
though, ran it down and lifted a perfect lob to instead set up a match point,
which she quickly converted by drilling a backhand that went unreturned.
Williams will now appear in a 10th Wimbledon quarterfinal (7-2).
Clijsters, unseeded and playing at Wimbledon for the last time, was lambasted
by eighth-seeded German southpaw Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-1 on Court 3.
The four-time major champion Clijsters went 28-9 in her Wimbledon career,
including trips to the semis in 2003 and 2006. The Belgian star never reached
a final at tennis' most prestigious event.
The 29-year-old Clijsters will retire from tennis, for a second time,
following this year's U.S. Open.
Kerber, who has been a rocket on the rise since reaching the U.S. Open
semifinals last year, will battle Lisicki in an all-German round-of-eight
Steady third-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska reached the quarters here for the
first time since 2009 with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-3 victory over upstart 20-
year-old Italian Camila Giorgi.
Radwanska reached back-to-back Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009.
The first woman to advance to the quarterfinals Monday was Austria's Tamira
Paszek, who rolled to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Italy's Roberta Vinci,
the 21st seed. Paszek, a quarterfinalist last year in this London suburb,
will next meet the winner between a second-seeded Azarenka and former No. 1
The Sports Network