Li toppled and Djokovic tumbles on Wimbledon's grass

Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:09pm EDT
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By Clare Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Wimbledon's grass claimed its most notable victim so far when the women's world No.2 Li Na exited the tournament on Friday and the lush lawns almost did for top men's seed Novak Djokovic, who took an agonizing tumble.

Two former champions also battled for supremacy in an ebb-and-flow classic on Center Court. It was 2011 title holder Petra Kvitova who prevailed 5-7 7-6(2) 7-5 in the contest of big servers against five-times champion and crowd favorite Venus Williams.

While you could barely separate Kvitova and Williams, champion Andy Murray soothed home nerves with a one-sided and danger-free win over Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-2 6-3 6-2.

Australian Open champion Li faced fired-up Czech Barbara Zahlavova Strycova, who has never before advanced beyond the third round of a grand slam.

The pair fought a tight two-hour-19-minute duel that could have gone either way, but the determined Czech held firmer in two tiebreaks to win 7-6(5) 7-6(5).

China's Li, the second seed, said she felt she had not had enough practice on grass coming in to the tournament.

"It's not only about technique. I think sometimes I don't know how to play the point, especially in the important moment. I think today I made a lot of mistakes."


Novak Djokovic from Serbia falls during his men's singles match against Gilles Simon from France at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 27, 2014.           REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth