It took time for the surprises to come, but the first weekend at this year's Wimbledon has provided enough upsets to satisfy fans who want to see a changing of the guard.
One day after No. 2 seed Li Na bowed out, the ladies' draw lost top-seeded Serena Williams. The American star lost in three sets to the No. 25 seed Alize Cornet, who came back from a rough start to stun the five-time Wimbledon champion.
Even though that turned out to be the only major upset of Day 6, it was enough to get the tennis world buzzing. Everything else played out largely as expected, especially on the men's side, but now things will heat up with more matchups featuring two seeded players.
We've got a look at all the results from Day 6 singles action, as well as the top storylines from the All England Club.
|No. 2 Rafael Nadal def. Mikhail Kukushkin||6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1|
|No. 4 Roger Federer def. Santiago Giraldo||6-3, 6-1, 6-3|
|No. 5 Stan Wawrinka vs. Denis Istomin||Postponed|
|No. 8 Milos Raonic def. Lukasz Kubot||7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2|
|No. 9 John Isner vs. No. 19 Feliciano Lopez||Postponed|
|No. 10 Kei Nishikori tied w/ Simone Bolelli||3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-3 (Suspended)|
|No. 23 Tommy Robredo def. No. 15 Jerzy Janowicz||6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 4-6, 6-3|
|Nick Kyrgios def. Jiri Vesely||3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2|
|No. 25 Alize Cornet def. No. 1 Serena Williams||1-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|No. 3 Simona Halep def. Belinda Bencic||6-4, 6-1|
|No. 5 Maria Sharapova def. Alison Riske||6-3, 6-0|
|No. 9 Angelique Kerber def. No. 24 Kirsten Flipkens||3-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|No. 19 Sabine Lisicki leads No. 11 Ana Ivanovic||6-1, 1-1 (Suspended)|
|No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard def. No. 20 Andrea Petkovic||6-3, 6-4|
|Zarina Diyas def. Vera Zvonareva||7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 6-3|
|Yaroslava Shvedova leads Madison Keys||7-6 (9-7), 6-6 (Suspended)|
Postponed matches will be played on Sunday
For full Day 6 results, including doubles action, click here.
Serena Williams Exits Early Again
It's amazing how quickly things can change in tennis. Serena Williams looked unbeatable in the first two rounds, losing a total of five games and knocking out Chanelle Scheepers in less than an hour on Thursday.
Williams started off looking like that against Cornet on Saturday, winning the first set 6-1 after a rain delay. The French star didn't bat an eye, winning the next two sets to send the top seed home, which ESPN Stats & Info notes marks three consecutive early exits in Grand Slams.
Serena Williams loses in 3rd round- has not made quarterfinals of a Grand Slam this year— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 28, 2014
Even though the focus of every discussion will be about Williams because she's the star who lost, Cornet deserves a lot of credit for her resolve. The 24-year-old certainly had an appreciation for what she accomplished in the post-match press conference, via Wimbledon's official Twitter account:
You can see that exuberance shine through Cornet's face after securing the victory, also via Wimbledon's official Twitter account:
However, following this win, the pressure is on Cornet to match the inevitable hype that will follow her around. This is already her best showing at Wimbledon and ties her best performance at a Grand Slam, previously reaching the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open.
Next up for Cornet is a date with No. 13 seed Eugenie Bouchard, who held sway against 20th-ranked Andrea Petkovic on Saturday.
Maria Sharapova Looks Like The Favorite
With Williams and Li out, Maria Sharapova now moves to the head of the favorites list at Wimbledon. Even though there are higher seeds above her (Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska), the Russian star is playing out of her mind.
Sharapova has already won three events this year, capturing the French Open three weeks ago, and has been steamrolling everyone in England so far. Even when she appears to be in trouble, such as falling behind 3-1 in the first set against Alison Riske, things fall right into place.
The 27-year-old won the last 11 games against Riske to secure her spot in the fourth round, finishing the match with a beautiful forehand, via Wimbledon's official Twitter account:
Even with this impressive run, Sharapova certainly doesn't sound like someone who is satisfied with where she's at right now. She told reporters after the match that last year's early exit helped motivate her, via Simon Cambers of the UK Observer.
"I’m just happy to be in the second week," said Sharapova. "After last year’s result, I wasn’t satisfied and I was looking forward to coming back. So I am very excited to be through."
It's safe to say that Sharapova has come back in a big way. Wimbledon is where she made her name 10 years ago, and it's going to take a special effort from someone on the other side to prevent a second title at the All England Club.
Roger Federer Keeps Cruising
While Rafael Nadal once again looked vulnerable before finding himself against Mikhail Kukushkin, his longtime rival Roger Federer just keeps cruising through opponents at Wimbledon.
Federer knocked out Santiago Giraldo in straight sets, setting up a fourth-round showdown with No. 23 seed Tommy Robredo. The seven-time Wimbledon champion has yet to drop a set in this year's event.
Sports Illustrated's Tennis Twitter feed summed up Federer's performance masterfully, especially in light of everything that was happening around the All England Club at the same time:
Drama all around the grounds but none on Centre Court. Roger Federer is through to the fourth round w/ a 63 61 63 over Giraldo. #wimbledon— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) June 28, 2014
Even though we keep waiting for Federer to finally prove that age has caught up to him, there's always a reminder that he's still one of the best players on the planet and arguably the best Wimbledon player ever.
There hasn't been any turmoil at the top of the men's bracket thus far, with all of the top five seeds (Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka) still alive. Federer's task will be matching up with those stars down the road. He's lost seven matches in 2014 with three coming against Nadal, Djokovic and Wawrinka.
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