Wimbledon entered the twilight zone on Monday as Serena Williams became the latest high-profile champion to fade into oblivion at a tournament where reputations and star status are counting for nothing.
Just when it seemed that this year's grasscourt major had exhausted its quota of
shocks with grand slam champions Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all blotted out of the draw by the second round, along came Sabine Lisicki.
The German, playing a brand of fearless tennis that many dream of but only the brave produce, jettisoned the American holder 6-2 1-6 6-4 to leave Wimbledon gasping in disbelief once again.
"I've said this, I don't know if you've heard, but she's a great grasscourt player," Serena
told a news conference after the loss.
"You know, c'mon, guys, let's get with it. She's excellent. She's not a pushover. She's a great player."
Andy Murray suffered a mini crisis of confidence and faced his first tiebreak of the tournament but recovered his nerve and timing to beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1 on Monday and advance to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
With Laura Robson bowing out earlier in the day, number two seed Murray assumed his usual position as singles flag-bearer for the home country and he duly triumphed on a sun-drenched Centre Court against the 31-year-old making his 13th Wimbledon appearance.