- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England — Venus and Serena Williams were eliminated in the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday, the first time in five years that neither sister will play in the quarterfinals at the All England Club.

Defending champion and four-time winner Serena was the first to go, beaten 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) by Marion Bartoli, cutting short the American’s return to Grand Slam tennis after nearly a year out with health problems.

Older sister and five-time champion Venus was ousted 6-2, 6-3 by Tsvetana Pironkova - the same score of the Bulgarian’s win in last year’s quarterfinals.

“Definitely not our best day,” Venus said. “I think we both envisioned seeing this day going a little bit different.”


Also knocked out was top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who fell 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 to No. 24 Dominika Cibulkova in the Dane’s latest failed attempt to win her first Grand Slam title.

Six-time men’s champion Roger Federer dropped his first set of the tournament before coming back to down Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 and reach his 29th successive Grand Slam quarterfinal. Extending his career record against the Russian to 11-0, Federer had 54 winners, including 14 aces, and broke five times.

Federer will next face No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who beat No. 7 David Ferrer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

Venus and Serena had won nine of the past 11 titles at Wimbledon and have faced each other in four finals.

In 2006, Venus lost in the third round and Serena missed the tournament. This is the first year that, when both sisters were in the draw, both lost before the quarterfinals.

The last time the sisters lost on the same day at a Grand Slam was in 2008, when they fell in the third round at the French Open.

“Obviously it’s not something planned,” Venus said. “We rarely lose on the same day.”

In men’s play, second-seeded Novak Djokovic kept up his bid for a first Wimbledon title by beating Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Fourth-seeded Andy Murray swept Richard Gasquet of France 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-2.