WIMBLEDON, England — French Open champion Li Na squandered two match points and lost in the second round of Wimbledon on Thursday to German wild card Sabine Lisicki, the biggest upset of the tournament so far.
The 62nd-ranked Lisicki erased both match points with service winners in the ninth game of the third set and beat the third-seeded Chinese player, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 under the roof on Centre Court.
Other winners on Day 4 included six-time champion Roger Federer, women’s defending titlist Serena Williams and second-seeded Novak Djokovic.
After Li hit a forehand long on Lisicki’s third match point, the 21-year-old German fell to her knees at the baseline and put her head to the turf. She broke into tears at her courtside chair.
“My emotions are so, I mean, just over the moon,” said Lisicki, who served 17 aces and had 32 winners. “It’s just amazing.”
Li was up 4-2 in the third set and twice served for the match but was broken each time. She had won 14 of her previous 15 Grand Slam matches in 2011, reaching the final at the Australian Open, then becoming China’s first major singles champion at Roland Garros last month.
“Tough match,” Li said. “But I think both players today played great. Nothing wrong, just unlucky. I have two match points. But I can do nothing for these two match points.”
Lisicki has now won 12 of her last 13 matches on grass, including reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2009 and winning a tune-up tournament in Birmingham this month. She missed five months last season with a left ankle injury, and she fell out of the top 200.
“It was very, very hard,” Lisicki said. “I really had to start from zero after being on crutches for seven weeks so it just means so much to me, you know, winning the title in Birmingham and getting the wild card here. I appreciate it so much, to be back in Wimbledon. It’s just a place that I love so much.”
Federer, playing the last match on Centre Court, needed only 1 hour, 28 minutes to put away Adrian Mannarino of France, 6-2, 6-3 6-2. With his parents watching from the Royal Box, the third-seeded Swiss finished the match in style — soaring high in the air for a flying overhead smash.
Earlier, Williams recovered from a poor start to defeat Romania’s Simona Halep, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 and move into the third round. After dropping the first set, Williams regained her renowned intensity and powerful shot-making to dominate the rest of the way on Court 2.