World number one Maria Sharapova crashed out of Wimbledon on Monday, while four-time winner Serena Williams and defending champion Petra Kvitova survived major scares to reach the quarter-finals. Sharapova had been a finalist in three of the last four Grand Slams, and arrived at Wimbledon on a high after winning the French Open for the first time last month. But the top seed came back down to earth with a bump on Court One as German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki avenged last year’s Wimbledon semi-final defeat against the Russian with a 6-4, 6-3 fourth round victory.
“I certainly had chances. I didn’t take them, but I think a lot of the credit goes to my opponent,” Sharapova said. “She played extremely well and did many things better than I did. You just have to hand it to her.” Lisicki had lost in the first round of her last four tournaments, but she has hit form at the right time and the 22-year-old’s reward is a last eight meeting with compatriot and eighth seed Angelique Kerber. “It’s just unbelievable. I’m so happy. I had lost the last three meetings with her, so it’s nice to finally win one,” Lisicki said.
Rain soaks Wimbledon as schedule hits roof: Wimbledon was hit by heavy rain on Monday as fears grew that Centre Court’s £80 million roof was transforming the 126-year-old event into an outdoor and indoor tournament at the same time. With all courts covered early in the day, matches in the last 16 of both the men’s and women’s singles were delayed.
Missing hawk returns
The highly-trained hawk used to scare pigeons away from the pristine grass courts of Wimbledon was returned to its owners on Sunday after being stolen during the first week of the tennis tournament. Rufus, a Harris Hawk, was off-duty in his cage when he was snatched by thieves late Thursday but is now home after being handed into offices of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, police said Sunday. Rufus’ Twitter account, written by his owners, said: “We can confirm the news is true Rufus has been found safe and well and reunited with family!! Thank you so much for your support £FindRufus”. Visitors to the world’s most famous tennis tournament often stop to have their picture taken with the four-and-a-half year old, which was reared by the family-run business Avian Environmental Consultants.