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July 2, 2013

5-time champ Williams exits Wimbledon in 4th round

(Continued)

“I thought for sure Serena was going to win the tournament,” Robson said, expressing a popular sentiment.

On Wednesday, the men’s quarterfinals on the draw’s top half are No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, a six-time Grand Slam titlist and the only remaining past Wimbledon winner, against No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, the 2010 runner-up; and No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain against No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. On the bottom half, it will be No. 2 Andy Murray of Britain, the London Olympic gold medalist and 2012 U.S. Open winner, against 54th-ranked Fernando Verdasco of Spain; and No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz against his Davis Cup teammate and pal, 130th-ranked Lukasz Kubot, in a match between the first two Polish men to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1980.

One will give the country its first male semifinalist at a major tournament.

“We hugged. We are happy,” Janowicz said. “Magical.”

Janowicz’s serve reached 137 mph and his temper flared on occasion as he beat 37th-ranked Jurgen Melzer 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, while Kubot also won a five-setter, celebrating with a can-can dance routine after hitting 26 aces to eliminate 111th-ranked Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Both Janowicz and Kubot benefited from one of the record-equaling 13 withdrawals or mid-match retirements last week, another element fueling the tournament’s topsy-turvy feel.

“Everyone was a bit on edge, a little bit uptight, because of what was happening with the injuries, withdrawals, upsets and stuff,” said Murray, who like Djokovic hasn’t lost a set. “Obviously, Serena losing today is a major shock, as well.”

Late Monday afternoon, British bookmakers were making Lisicki the favorite to win a trophy that hours earlier seemed destined for Williams. Asked whether that affects her in any way, Lisicki shot back: “No, not at all.” Not even a little bit? Lisicki didn’t blink and answered, “No.”

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