Johannesburg, July 2 (ANI): World No. 1 Serena Williams has claimed that she was not shocked by her shock Wimbledon exit against German Sabine Lisicki because she knew that the player was a major threat to her title defence.
The American ace's 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 defeat by Lisicki brought an end to her 34-match winning run and destroyed her bid for a sixth Wimbledon crown, Sport24 reports.
Putting a brave face on becoming the latest star to crash out at this year's Wimbledon, Williams said that although she is disappointed by her loss, she is not shocked as according to her, Lisicki is a great player and has a 'super' game on grass.
Stating that the German should be ranked higher, Williams further said that she felt that out of the 16 matches that she had played in the tournament, her fateful game with Lisicki was the toughest, and added that her opponent is not a push-over.
Although the 16-time Grand Slam champion had swept through the first week towards an expected win, dropping just 11 games in her opening three matches, she insisted that the pressure of living up to those expectations had not affected her at all, adding that she had paid the price for changing her game-plan at the wrong moment in the third set.
Paying tribute to Lisicki's game as the 'performance of a life-time', Williams said that although she had grown used to being the favourite every time she stepped out on the court, she was aware that it would be a tough draw against Lisicki, who has a good serve, played aggressively and always performs well at Wimbledon.
According to Williams, a player can play with freedom if he/she has nothing to lose, adding that although she had been given opportunities, she did not take any of them and instead backed off at some points.
Although Williams was competing without her sister Venus, who pulled out injured before the tournament, with father Richard also missing, for the first time since making her Wimbledon debut, however, she played down any talk that their absences may have affected her.
According to Williams, she will have to re-evaluate her life if she cannot compete without any of her family, adding that she will need time to fine-tune her game before setting her sights on the US Open.
Meanwhile, Williams tipped fellow American Sloane Stephens, who eliminated her at the Australian Open in January, as the most likely player to replace her as the new Wimbledon champion on Saturday. (ANI)