With Serena And Top Players Out, Who Will Win Wimbledon?
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
In a wild Wimbledon, the upsets just keep happening. Serena Williams, the number one seed and last year's champion was knocked out by Germany's Sabine Lisicki. With Williams losing, the top three women's seeds are now out and Wimbledon fans are wondering just who is left to win this thing. For that, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated joins us from the court. And Jon, we'll get to who's left for the women, but first, explain what happened to Serena Williams today.
JON WERTHEIM: I think she would like an explanation. No, she came out flat. She played a very good player. I mean, this hard serving German, Sabine Lisicki, who plays well on grass and probably second to Serena has the best serve in the women's game. And Serena loses the first set and then, as if she toggles a switch, she's back in business. She wins nine games in a row. She's on the verge of winning and suddenly, she forgets she's Serena Williams.
She's not aggressive. She plays a very shaky game and then Lisicki, to her credit, served it out and we have yet another titanic upset here at Wimbledon 2013.
CORNISH: All right. So Jon, when should we start, I guess, feeling bad for Serena Williams, right? I mean, she's done well for so long but should we be worried?
WERTHEIM: No. I don't think so. I mean, she's 31 which in tennis' dog years is getting up there but, you know, before today, she had this tremendous 35 match win streak. She won the French Open. She was the defending champion. She'll still be number one in the rankings. And she lost today to a powerful player and I think she learned you can't be passive late in the match.
But she's still doing awfully well for herself and if she were to win the U.S. Open, I would say, overall, 2013 was a very successful year for her.
CORNISH: So now that Serena's gone, and we should mention along with Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharipova, are there any more recognizable names left on the women's side?
WERTHEIM: I think that depends on your level of fandom, Audie. Do you have Agnieszka Radwanska fever?
CORNISH: You'd have to know how to spell it, I think.
WERTHEIM: For the casual fans, there will be a lot of confused looks as they look at some of the remaining names, especially on the women's side. You know, on the other hand, Sloane Stephens, the young American is still left in the tournament. And, you know, maybe this is a disguised blessing. I mean, maybe the fact that this is not the Serena Open and we'll have a breakthrough star, maybe in the long run this is good for tennis.
But no, I do think to your question, I think there will be a lot of puzzled looks when people look at some of the match-ups that await us for the next three rounds.
CORNISH: To follow up on that, does this really allow a moment for new stars to step in or do people really just want to see finals with Sharipova and Williams?
WERTHEIM: No, I think you're right. I mean, we all like stars and we all like recognized brands but some of the breakthrough stars have to start somewhere. Serena, as we said, is 31 years old and if a player like Sloane Stephens can use this opportunity to break through, then, again, maybe this is a disguised blessing.
CORNISH: Now, before we let you go, I've got to ask about the men's side. Last week, there were a lot of upsets there as well. Have things calmed down? Who should we be looking out for?
WERTHEIM: Things have calmed down to some extent. We still have the top two seeds, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, who are really shaping up to be sort of the next generation rivalry after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And, you know, it's crazy from a U.S. perspective, certainly seeing this upset after upset has been crazy, working here, on the other hand, if Andy Murray were to win this, and we have a British champion, then the folks here will certainly go home happy and that's what this tournament will ultimately be remembered for, not this rash of upsets.
CORNISH: Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated, thank you so much for speaking with us.
WERTHEIM: Any time, thanks, Audie.
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