Thursday, April 16, 2009

Venus makes shock Charleston exit

Venus Williams suffered a surprise defeat by Germany's Sabine Lisicki in the third round of the clay-court Family Circle Cup in Charleston, USA.

The Wimbledon champion had needed three sets to beat Sania Mirza on Wednesday but could not repeat that battling win, losing 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to the 16th seed.

Lisicki, 19, broke serve when Williams led 5-4 in the second set before taking her third match point in the tie-break.

Top seed Elena Dementieva beat unseeded American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1 6-1.

The Russian will next face seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova after the Slovakian saw off Anastasia Rodionova 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-3.

Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat China's 10th seed Peng Shuai 6-3 6-4 and France's Marion Bartoli , the sixth seed, defeated American qualifier Melanie Oudin 6-4 6-1.

Williams, the 2004 champion in Charleston, admitted she had been surprised by Lisicki.

"I wasn't expecting that and I'll try to come back next year and win," said the American. "I made a few errors at the wrong time and she played some great shots."

The big-serving Lisicki said: "I'm confident with my serve. Sometimes I'm struggling but in the important points I could really count on my serve, which was very good."

And on burying her face in her towel after victory, she added: "Everything together. It was just pure emotions."

In later matches, Russia's Elena Vesnina defeated Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine 7-6 (7-4) 7-5, and Hungarian Melinda Czink upset fourth seed Nadia Petrova of Russia 3-6 6-4 7-5.