WRAPUP 2-Tennis-Serena fizzles out, Nadal and Federer march on

Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:06pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Wimbledon great Serena Williams was sent packing by a Frenchwoman who once regarded grass court tennis as a chore but Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal illuminated the Centre Court lawn with commanding victories on Saturday.

American Williams's hopes of a sixth singles title fizzled out as she sank to a 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat against 25th seed Alize Cornet who celebrated by kissing the Court One turf.

The result reverberated around the All England Club on a day of dark clouds and rain and blasted a gaping hole in the women's tournament which now looks wide open with second seed Li Na having departed a day earlier.

World number one Williams, 32, had not fallen before the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2005 and, after returning to court from a four-hour rain delay on day six, she seemed to charging towards the business end of the tournament.

Her power game began to malfunction and Cornet, sensing her moment, battled back with some attacking tennis to leave a strangely hesitant Williams reeling.

After watching the match slip away, Williams dug deep at the end to claw back two games to trail 4-5 but she bungled a volley to offer Cornet a match point and then netted a backhand.

"If somebody would have told me a couple years ago that I would be in second week here in Wimbledon, beating Serena, I wouldn't have believed it," Cornet told reporters.

"Before it was just a pain to come here in Wimbledon. But now it's the contrary," added the 24-year-old who has reached the last 16 of a major for only the second time in 34 attempts.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her women's singles tennis match against Alize Cornet of France at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 28, 2014.                     REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth