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Serena Williams upset in third round at Wimbledon

Serena Williams of the United States stands dejected

Serena Williams of the United States stands dejected during her Ladies' Singles third round match against Alize Cornet of France on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2014 in London, England. Credit: Getty Images / Steve Bardens

WIMBLEDON, England - Alize Cornet dictated her story, off the cuff. "It is the biggest upset of the tournament," she shouted to a TV microphone after, well, the biggest upset of Wimbledon so far, her stunning win over Serena Williams.

"Because she is No. 1," said Cornet, the 25th seed. "And she won this a number of times. I can't believe I did it myself."

It is there to believe, a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, win Saturday over the woman ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 1; the winner of 17 major singles titles, five of them here on the grass courts.

Cornet, 24, of Nice, France, beat Williams in straight sets earlier in the year at Dubai. Saturday, she kept Serena off balance with drop shots and well-played balls into the corners.

Williams was knocked out of the Australian Open in the fourth round, the French Open last month in the second round and now Wimbledon in the third round. At 32, Williams might be on the downside.

Asked what happened, Williams quietly said: "I don't know. I tried. I may have made a few errors too many. I thought I was going pretty well. I worked really hard coming into this event."

When someone wondered if the other players were closing the gap on Williams or whether she was not playing up to her potential, she said: "I think everyone in general plays the match of their lives against me. I'm pretty sure the next match will not be the same. The next time I step on a court, I'm going to have to be 100 times better."

The Williams-Cornet match was on Court 1, and because of a steady early afternoon rain, play was suspended for several hours.

But because there is a movable roof over Centre Court, matches there were held, starting with Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 seed, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. Then Maria Sharapova, who has a solid chance for a second Wimbledon title, beat Alison Riske, 6-3, 6-0. Finally, seven-time winner Roger Federer whipped Santiago Giraldo, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

Federer said in the past he likes playing under the roof. But Nadal implied he had a feeling of claustrophobia.

"When I played the first set," said Nadal, who, like Sharapova, will be going for the French-Wimbledon double, "I said maybe the roof here is no good for me. No, it doesn't matter. In general, is true that the roof is great because there is a lot of light coming in. But for me, talking about my personal opinion, is better when I am not in closed places with lights. But I think I played a great match."

So, of course, did Cornet, who next faces Eugenie Bouchard Monday.

"I don't know how I did it," Cornet said.

Cornet never had been past the third round at the All England Club, and she only once before got to the fourth round of a major -- at the 2009 Australian Open.

On Friday, Serena's older sister Venus, also a former Wimbledon champ who now is 34, lost her third-round match.

Venus said she was coming back, and Serena, in effect, said the same. "This will be a good one to assess and figure out what I can do better next time," Serena said. "I think this defeat is important to study."

Serena had problems with her serve, normally the best part of her game.

"I don't know the percentage of my serve," she said. "I think my first serve was down a little bit. I worked hard on my serve. I don't know why it didn't happen today."

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