June 27, 2011 -- The day began with sun and optimism. For the majority of fans -- the English ones -- it ended that way. Their hero Andy Murray won.
But for some the day ended dismally.
Both Williams' sisters -- Venus and Serena -- lost their fourth round matches, leaving the Championships without a Williams sister in the quarterfinals for the first time in five years. The only other time they had lost in the same round of a Grand Slam was in 2008 at Roland Garros.
"Definitely not our best day," Venus said to the Associated Press. "We both envisioned seeing this day going a little bit different."
Number-one seed Caroline Wozniacki fell in three tough sets to Dominika Cibulkova, heaping more distress on the Dane's plate -- will she ever win a major and justify her number-one ranking?
"I don't really care what people think or say or do," Wozniacki told the international press. "I cannot really do anything now. I did my best and it wasn't good enough."
Marion Bartoli stunned the world, not just the tennis world, by defeating the odds-on favorite to repeat her Wimbledon crown, Serena Williams. Bartoli never took a set from Serena let alone a match. But today the French woman refused to back down.
Eighteen-year-old Qualifier Bernard Tomic sent 31-year-old Xavier Malisse home to Belgium. Tomic has raised the hopes for Australians in a big way, and has become the youngest person in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon since Boris Becker in 1986. Tomic will play Novak Djokovic next. He'll need all the Aussie fan support he can muster.
Tomas Berdych, Wimbledon's 2010 men's singles finalist, lost to American Mardy Fish in straight sets. Fish will play in his first quarterfinal at Wimbledon, adding to his resume. He has played in the quarters at the 2007 Australian Open and the 2008 Australian Open. Fish's record on grass in 2010 was topnotch, a little known fact. He was 11-2. Rafael Nadal is next for Fish.
Wildcard Sabine Lisicki kept her winning streak on the upswing, too. The German has now equaled her best performance at SW19, the quarterfinals in 2009.
The one woman Venus Williams rather would not have seen across the net at any point during the fortnight once again unhinged the 5-time Champion -- Tsvetana Pironkova. For the second year in a row, the Bulgarian defeated Williams. Adding insult to injury, the scoreline was the same as in 2010 -- 62 63.
Pironkova's record coming into Wimbledon was a pretty pathetic 6-15 for the year. The farthest she advanced in any tournament was the third round and that happened once. For her to have beaten Venus again at Wimbledon added a cruel twist to the day.
But facts are facts: Pironkova blossoms on these lawns. "When I come here I just feel so relaxed. I really like the atmosphere here."
The atmosphere on Court 1 agreed with Marion Bartoli, too. Her intensity was palpable. She whipped Serena from left to right, leaving her breathless and in disbelief. She gazed up at her support group and shrugged her shoulders, as if to say what else can I do. Her face reflected the anguish she felt.
Although Serena saved four match points and lead in the second set tiebreak, Bartoli kept her foot on the gas pedal. She believed in herself. During the tiebreak there was a 25-shot rally, which Bartoli won. This type of point goes against the perception that she isn't as fit as the rest of the women on tour.
Bartoli is frequently at the brunt of disparaging comments aimed at her baseline rituals, too. She hops, shadow swings, and shadow serves before almost every point. Once in position to receive she swings left and right, working into a fervent state of anticipation.
"It's important to believe I can win the match," Bartoli told to press, when asked about her rituals. "This attitude helps me believe and go through tough situations."
Bartoli's game is perfectly suited for the fast, low-bouncing game on grass. She is really a Mini-Monica Seles, hitting off both sides with two hands and directing the ball at severe angles. Her father and coach, Dr. Martin Bartoli, makes no qualms about admitting that he fashioned his daughter's game after Seles's.
"It was not easy mentally to hang on, but I did," Bartoli told Phil Jones of the BBC, immediately after her win. "I tried to stay in [my] own bubble -- focus on my own game."
That's Bartoli's plan for tomorrow, too, when she plays Sabine Lisicki. Both women have perfect grass-court records for the season. Additionally, Bartoli won the title in Eastbourne last week; and, Lisicki won in Birmingham.
Andy Murray was happy about his win today, especially since he performed in front of the royal newlyweds, Prince William and Princess Kate.
"If I'd known they were coming, I would have shaved," he said smiling. "I was thinking to myself as I came off I was sweaty and very hairy. I said to them, 'I'm sorry, I'm a bit sweaty.' But it was really nice."
Murray's quarterfinal opponent will be lefty Feliciano Lopez who his mother refers to as "Deliciano" on Twitter.