Just when it appeared that Wimbledon 2014 would be clear of major upsets, the top two women fell. The latest was world No. 1 and five-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.
After dominating the first set against Alize Cornet on Saturday, Williams stumbled in the second set and couldn't gather herself sufficiently in the third. The result was a shocking 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory for Cornet. It was the second straight time she had beaten Williams.
Cornet also knocked off the future Hall of Famer earlier in the year at Dubai. During a post-match interview, Cornet was in shock, but elated.
Per John Branch of The New York Times: “I just cannot believe it. A few years ago, I couldn’t even play on the grass, I was so bad. And now I beat Serena.”
The win earned Cornet a meeting with fast-rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 16. It should be a thrilling matchup between 24-year-old Cornet and 20-year-old Bouchard. The two could be future stars of the sport.
Aside from the Cornet-Bouchard match, here are two other must-see meetings on Monday's schedule.
Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Any time the top seed in the draw is in action this late in the tournament, it's a must see. Beyond that, Djokovic and Tsonga have had some great meetings in the past. During the quarterfinals of the 2012 French Open, Tsonga had Djokovic on the ropes. He was up two sets to one and had four match points during an epic fourth set.
Djokovic fought off each attempt to oust him from the tournament, and dominated the final set 6-1.
In 2010, Tsonga outlasted Djokovic in a classic five-set match during the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Djokovic hadn't lost again in the year's first Grand Slam until this year when he fell to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
This year, Djokovic and Tsonga have had early tests, but both look solid heading into Monday's match. Bet on this one going five sets.
Tsonga has been especially impressive en route to the round of 16. Hugh Muir of The Guardian colorfully describes Tsonga's form against Jimmy Wang in the third round:
"The Frenchman is big, with a boxer’s build. But he is also whip fast, and easily reached the vast majority [of Wang's serves] to return them for winners."
Angelique Kerber vs. Maria Sharapova
With Li Na and Williams eliminated, Sharapova has to like her chances at the All England Club. After winning the French Open, Sharapova has smashed her way through the first three rounds.
Only one of her matches has lasted over an hour, and that one was an hour and nine minutes, per Wimbledon.com.
Kerber has been pushed to three sets in two of her three matches during the tournament, and she has dropped four of the five previous meetings with Sharapova.
Based on that and the way she's been playing lately, Sharapova should come out on top. But I'm sure most of us thought Williams would handle Cornet as well.
Anything can happen, and stranger things than a Kerber upset have.
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