- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2011

WIMBLEDON, England — French Open champion Li Na squandered two match points and lost 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 Thursday to wild card Sabine Lisicki in the second round of Wimbledon, the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

The 62nd-ranked Lisicki erased both match points with service winners in the ninth game of the third set and beat the third-seeded Li under the roof on Centre Court. Other winners on Day 4 included six-time champion Roger Federer, women’s defending titlist Serena Williams and second-seeded Novak Djokovic.

After Li hit a forehand long on Lisicki’s third match point, Lisicki, 21, fell to her knees at the baseline and put her head to the turf. She broke into tears at her courtside chair.

“My emotions are so, I mean, just over the moon,” said Lisicki, who served 17 aces and had 32 winners. “It’s just amazing.”

Li reached the quarterfinals here in 2006 and 2010. Her landmark victory in Paris last month was watched by a reported 116 million people in China.

Federer, playing the last match on Centre Court, needed only 1 hour, 28 minutes to put away Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-3 6-2. With his parents

“It was very nice to play indoors for the first time,” he said. “I’ve played on Centre Court for 10 straight years. The atmosphere was fantastic. It very nice for me to have such a standing ovation every time. I thought the conditions were fantastic from start to finish.”

Earlier, Williams recovered from a poor start to defeat Simona Halep 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 and move into the third round, staying on course for a fifth title.

After dropping the first set, Williams regained her renowned intensity and powerful shot-making to dominate the rest of the way on Court 2. The winner of 13 Grand Slam singles titles still is still searching for her form after a yearlong absence because of injuries and health issues.

There were no tears this time from Williams, who sobbed with relief Monday after winning her opening match on Centre Court against Aravane Rezai.

“I’m just happy to be playing and hopefully I’ll get better as the tournament goes on,” she said.

Williams wasn’t happy about playing out on Court 2, rather than Centre Court or Court 1. Her sister, five-time champion Venus, played her first-round match on Court 2. Their two other matches were on Centre Court.

“They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason,” Serena said when asked about it in the press conference. “I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe one day we’ll figure it out. I don’t know.”

Williams said top male players, such as Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, are “never moved across” to the outside court.

The Williams sisters have combined to win nine of the past 11 Wimbledon singles championships, including Serena’s titles in 2009 and 2010.

Told of Williams‘ comments, tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins said there was no intentional snub.

“I don’t think it’s anything deliberate, clearly,” he told the Associated Press. “It’s a hugely complex jigsaw puzzle. Everyone probably looks at it from their own point of view, so she’s obviously quite entitled to [her opinion].”


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