Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Venus, Serena, Caroline Wozniacki all fall in Wimbledon round of 16 | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

THE VICTORS: Marion Bartoli, left, and Tsvetana Pironkova celebrate fourth-round wins Monday. Bartoli ousted defending champion Serena Williams, and Pironkova defeated five-time champion Venus Williams.

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

Defending champion and four-time winner Serena lost, 6-3, 7-6 (6), to Marion Bartoli of France, cutting short the American's return to Grand Slam tennis after nearly a year out with serious 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."

Venus and Serena have won nine of the past 11 titles at Wimbledon and have faced each other in four finals. 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, the third round at the French Open.

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

Six-time men's champion Roger Federer survived a scare, dropping his first set of the tournament before coming back to down Mikhail Youzhny, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, and reach his 29th successive Grand Slam quarterfinal.

"I forgot completely (the 29th quarterfinal) was on the line to be quite honest, especially once you're in the heat of the moment, of the battle," said Federer, who also won his 100th match on grass. "I thought I played a good match overall."

Top-seeded defending champion Rafael Nadal overcame a foot injury and outlasted Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, in a Centre Court match that ended in fading light shortly after 9 p.m.

A grimacing Nadal took a medical time-out after suffering an injured left foot in the game before the first-set tiebreaker. "For a moment at the end of the first set, I thought that I had to retire," Nadal said, adding he would seek further medical checks. "After that, the pain goes a little bit down, and finally I was ready to play."

With 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia among those advancing Monday, this marks the first time since 1913 that all eight women's Wimbledon quarterfinalists are from Europe. And all come from different countries.

With no American women left, No. 10 Mardy Fish made it to his first Wimbledon quarters by serving 23 aces and beating 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray swept Richard Gasquet of France, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 -- then took a deep bow to the Royal Box, where Prince William and bride Kate joined the rest of the crowd in giving the British winner a standing ovation.


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