It's been a graveyard for top seeds at Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova all ousted in the first week of the tournament. On Monday, it was defending champion Serena Williams' turn.
"[T]he overwhelming favourite to lift a sixth Wimbledon title suffered a shock fourth-round defeat when she was beaten 6-2 1-6 6-4 by Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Monday. The American, who had been on a 34-match winning streak and had lost just twice all year, relinquished a 4-2 lead in the third set to bow out after two hours four minutes."
As The Associated Press notes: "Williams has won six titles in 2013, the same total as the other 15 remaining women combined."
The early exits by favored players at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club leaves relative unknowns looking to see how far they can go. The AP reports:
"Five of the remaining 16 men were set to make their fourth-round Wimbledon debuts Monday. Six never have reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal: [Kenny] de Schepper, Ivan Dodig, [Jerzy] Janowicz, Lukasz Kubot, [Adrian] Mannarino, and Andreas Seppi. Perhaps not coincidentally, each of those relatively unknown half-dozen players benefited from at least one of the record-tying 13 walkovers or mid-match retirements from injury or illness so far.
"Four of the 16 women left also were hoping to reach a major quarterfinal for the first time: [Laura] Robson, [Karin] Knapp, 19-year-old [Monica] Puig of Puerto Rico, and 20th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium."
Three men's players have dominated Grand Slam tournaments in recent years. Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokivic have won 31 of the past 33 titles.