Top seed and five-time Wimbledon champion Williams crashes to her earliest exit in nine years after losing to Alize Cornet 6-1, 3-6, 4-6 in third round
London: Serena Williams crashed to her earliest exit at Wimbledon for nine years as the world number one suffered a shock 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss against French 24th seed Alize Cornet in the third round on Saturday.
Top seed Serena Williams reacts during her third round Wimbledon match to Alize Cornet on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Top seed Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion, had reached at least the last 16 in each of her previous seven visits to the All England Club, but Cornet fought back from a set down to end that sequence in two hours and four minutes of gripping drama.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova reached the last 16 on Saturday, shining beneath the Centre Court roof as heavy rain swept away the action outside and led to 45 matches being cancelled.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, dropped the opening set for the third time in three matches before turning things around in a 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin.
Nadal had dropped the first set to Martin Klizan and Lukas Rosol in his first two rounds and Kukushkin, playing in his 21st tournament of the year, employed the same free-swinging tactics to bludgeon his way.
Federer in Last 16
Roger Federer was barely troubled as he cruised into the last 16 on Saturday with a straight sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win over Santiago Giraldo under the Centre Court roof.
Sharapova on course
Sharapova remained on course for a rare French Open and Wimbledon double after moving into the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over American Alison Riske.
Third seed Simona Halep of Romania reached the last 16 with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Belinda Bencic.