WIMBLEDON, England — After this Wimbledon fortnight, I’m not even sure death and taxes are all that certain. Just as the tournament turned the page on a first week full of upsets and injuries, Week 2′s Manic Monday kicked off with yet another surprise. No. 23 Sabine “Boom Boom” Lisicki knocked off No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to end the American’s 34-match winning streak and open up the women’s draw.
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 finalist, is the only top-five player still alive, and she’s joined by just two Grand Slam champions, Petra Kvitova and Li Na. An informal poll around the furious clicking and clacking in the press room reveals that not a single name stands out as a solid choice to win the title.
Lisicki eliminated Williams, so surely she must be the favorite, say the oddsmakers. But Kvitova knows what it takes to win the tournament, say others. Radwanska is a steady and skillful grass-courter who pushed Williams to three sets in last year’s final. Li and Marion Bartoli have proved that they can make a Grand Slam final and, in Li’s case, win one. Then there’s the opportunistic Sloane Stephens, the last American standing for the second time at a major this year. We’ll get some answers Tuesday when the women play the quarterfinals. Your guess is now as good as mine.
While the women’s draw took another major hit, the higher-ranked player in every men’s match won. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, Jerzy Janowicz, Fernando Verdasco and Lukasz Kubot all advanced to the quarterfinals. For all the panic over the draw, the top half has held true to form: Djokovic will take on No. 7 Berdych, and No. 4 Ferrer will face No. 8 Del Potro. As for the bottom half? Uh … everyone had Kubot vs. Janowicz rather than Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, right?
Here are some of our favorite photos from Day 7 of The Championships. The BBC clearly knew something was up when it began its morning broadcast blasting Blue Monday. Welcome to the New (World) Order.
Serena Williams: Look, I’m not saying that Williams should win all her matches regardless of her opponent. But Serena’s blowing a 3-0 lead in the third set at Wimbledon after reeling off nine straight games? No one saw that coming. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Sloane Stephens: The 20-year-old, a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner, withstood a strong challenge from Monica Puig to advance to her second Grand Slam quarterfinal this year. Next up for her is 2007 Wimbledon finalist Bartoli. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
Andy Murray: Don’t you dare hurt yourself, Braveheart. He is, as he almost always is, the last Brit standing, after Laura Robson lost to Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (6), 7-5. Murray pulled a Houdini act later in the afternoon, coming back from 2-5 down in the second set and 2-4 down in the tiebreaker to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1. He’ll play Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Bernard Tomic: Tomic had himself a fine tournament, advancing to the fourth round for the second time. He lost to Berdych 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas: The good news is that Haas became the first man in four matches to break Djokovic’s serve. The bad news is he still lost in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4). (Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)
Jerzy Janowicz: Just Jerzy bein’ Jerzy. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Lukasz Kubot: Lukasz Kubot is into the Wimbledon quarterfinals! Lukasz Kubot is into the Wimbledon quarterfinals? Lukasz Kubot is into the Wimbledon quarterfinals. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
Jerzy Janowicz: I think you’re going to need those in your next match, Jerzy. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Bob and Mike Bryan: Another day, another win for the Bryan brothers, who haven’t dropped a set on their way to the quarterfinals. If they win the title, they’ll be the reigning champions of all four Slams and the Olympics. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro: Peek-a-boo, we see you, DelPo. The 2009 U.S. Open champion is into his first Wimbledon quarterfinal after beating Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams: Serena showed great sportsmanship by waiting for Lisicki to walk off the court together, as per Wimbledon tradition. Not everyone would do that. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)