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Maria Sharapova loses to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova of Russia looks down during a

Maria Sharapova of Russia looks down during a match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany on day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. (July 2, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

WIMBLEDON, England -- They call it Manic Monday here. Think of it as a tennis version of March Madness. Everyone remaining is scheduled in a fourth-rounder. The next thing you know, a favorite is defeated, and the survivors are tiptoeing to the quarterfinals.

As Serena Williams will be. As Maria Sharapova will not be.

The players who get through are those with skill, perseverance and, not least, fortune.

In basketball, a Valparaiso or a Santa Clara can get hot and not miss a shot. Same thing at Wimbledon; only here, on a day of wind and rain, it was Yaroslava Shvedova and Sabine Lisicki who rarely missed.

Williams, a four-time Wimbledon champ, was able to hang on against Shvedova, winning, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5. She next faces last year's winner, Petra Kvitova. But French Open champion Sharapova, the No. 1 seed and No. 1 in the WTA rankings, was beaten by Lisicki, 6-4, 6-3.

Four-time major champion Kim Clijsters, who likely played for the final time at Wimbledon since she has already said she will retire after the U.S. Open, lost, 6-1, 6-1, to eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber.

Shvedova made history Saturday when in the first set of a win over Sara Errani, she took all 24 points, the so-called "Golden Set," accomplished only once before in the open era, by Bill Scanlon in 1983 in Florida.

Shvedova, a wild card, won the first point against the sixth-seeded Williams, who served to start the match. "I was worried about it," Williams explained, and she seemed serious. "I said, 'Serena, just get a point in this set and try to figure it out.' I definitely thought about it."

What others thought about was the possible hangover from last month's French Open when for the only time in her career, the 30-year-old Williams lost a first-round singles match in a major.

"I have to force my way to get past the French," Williams said. "This is Wimbledon now."

At least she wasn't easily dispatched, as was Sharapova.

"She did so many things better than I did," Sharapova said of Lisecki, who three times in four years at Wimbledon has defeated the French Open winner. "I could have done things differently but not on this particular day."

On an afternoon and evening when persistent rain interrupted all play except on Centre Court after the roof was closed, six-time men's champion Roger Federer defeated Xavier Malisse, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Federer briefly left the court in the first set complaining of a chronic bad back.

Defending champ Novak Djokovic, under the roof, was a winner over fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

New York Sports