“Good omen,” Lisicki said.
“Obviously,” she said, “I went into the match feeling that I could win.”
Might have been the only person who felt that way. After all, Williams owns 16 major championships, and entering yesterday, the 31-year-old American had won 46 of 48 matches this season, and 77 of 80 since the start of Wimbledon in 2012.
“You cannot be perfect, every match, all year,” said Patrick Mouratoglou, the French coach who began working with Williams last year. “She won 34 matches in a row. It has to stop one day. It has to happen. And it happened today.”
The inevitability of failure, even for the most successful player, has never been made clearer than during this tournament. This was only the first day of the fortnight’s second week, yet Williams joined quite a list of those already gone: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka and Sharapova — all major title winners, all former No. 1s, all out by the end of Day 3.
“This,” summed up 17th-seeded Sloane Stephens, “has been a crazy Wimbledon.”
Sure has. No U.S. men reached the third round, something that last happened 101 years ago, and Williams’ departure made Stephens the lone American singles player left. The 20-year-old Stephens’ first quarterfinal at the All England Club comes Tuesday against No. 15 Marion Bartoli of France, the 2007 runner-up.
The other matchup on their half of the draw is No. 8 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, against No. 20 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium. Tuesday’s remaining quarterfinals are No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who lost to Williams in last year’s final, against No. 6 Li of China; and Lisicki against 46th-ranked Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.
Kanepi reached her fifth Grand Slam quarterfinal, and second at Wimbledon, with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory over 19-year-old Laura Robson, the first British woman in the fourth round at the All England Club since 1998. Robson, like others, took note of Monday’s most significant outcome.