Venus goes out as Serena, Federer continue hunt for gold

Venus Williams crashed out of the Olympic tennis tournament to Germany's Angelique Kerber

Story highlights

  • Venus Williams suffers surprise defeat to German Angelique Kerber
  • Gold medal favorites Serena Williams and Roger Federer progress
  • Local hero Andy Murray drops first set, recovers to make quarter final
  • Sharapova advances as she looks for missing gold medal

American Venus Williams was the biggest name to head out of the Olympics tennis tournament in Wednesday's third round, losing 6-7, 6-7 to German Angelique Kerber.

Venus, the gold medal winner at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, struggled to cope with the intelligent play of Kerber.

The 24-year-old is enjoying the best year of her career, seeing her ranking rise to seven, and never looked in trouble against the seven time slam winning American.

Serena Williams, Venus' younger sister, didn't encounter the same problems as she swatted aside 2008 silver medal winner Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0. The recent Wimbledon champion looked in imperious form, hitting 32 winners to her opponents three.

"I think I played better today and even in my second round than any match I played at Wimbledon," Williams said.

"I was just playing unbelievable. I felt good. I was relaxed. I felt like, you know what, I'm here to have fun, I have nothing to lose. No pressure on myself."

In the men's tournament, Roger Federer continued his quest to claim the only major title to elude him with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. The Uzbek player threatened Federer at 5-5 in the first set, but the world number one snuffed out the threat relatively easy. From there on, the most successful tennis player of all time looked comfortable.

"I was happy with the way that I was able to turn it around," said Federer.

Venus Williams excited by London 2012
Venus Williams excited by London 2012


    Venus Williams excited by London 2012


Venus Williams excited by London 2012 00:39
Nadal reveals heartache at Games
Nadal reveals heartache at Games


    Nadal reveals heartache at Games


Nadal reveals heartache at Games 02:17
Defending Olympic gold
Defending Olympic gold


    Defending Olympic gold


Defending Olympic gold 03:27
Andy Murray carries the Olympic torch
Andy Murray carries the Olympic torch


    Andy Murray carries the Olympic torch


Andy Murray carries the Olympic torch 00:39

"Denis, I thought, played a very good first set; I didn't play poorly to let him back into the match. In the second set I guess I learned from the first set and was able to bring it home, so I'm very happy."

Federer will play the John Isner in the quarter finals after the big-serving American beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 7-6.

Not everything went Federer's way though, as later in the day he and Stanislas Wawrinka relinquished their Olympic doubles title to the Israeli pairing of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich.

Elsewhere in the doubles, Brazilian team Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares won an epic encounter with Thomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. The final set finished 24-22 in 191 minutes making it the longest set in an Olympic men's doubles match, and the match the longest three-set Olympic men's doubles match ever.

Federer's main rivals for Olympic gold both endured a difficult day at Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic met former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in a gruelling encounter that ended 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the Serbian's favor.

Djokovic will face the dangerous Jo-Wilfired Tsonga in the next round after the powerful Frenchman beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 6-4.

Lopez is only in the singles competition after Spanish number one Rafael Nadal had to withdraw from the competition due to injury.

Local favorite Andy Murray also has hopes of winning a medal, having lost in the final at the recent Wimbledon Championships. He met the talented Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in front of a raucous home crowd, producing a nervous 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win.

"I was pretty unsure of myself at the beginning of the match, I didn't feel comfortable on the court," Murray told the Wimbledon website.

"Then I managed to settle myself down and move my feet better to get in better position in the second set. I played some good tennis after that."

Murray plays Spain's Nicolas Almagro in the quarter finals after the Spanish clay court specialist beat Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-3.

Former U.S. Open champion Juan-Martin Del Potro progressed to the quarter finals after recovering from an early scare against Giles Simon of France. Simon, renowned for an unrelenting game, looked to be struggling to match Del Potro's power when he lost the first set 6-1, but he recovered to take the second 6-4. The Argentinian Del Potro recovered his composure to seal the final set 6-3.

In the final men's match of the day, Japan's Kei Nishikori shocked number four seed David Ferrer of Spain with a 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 defeat. The match began on a packed court 14, but was moved under the Centre Court roof to ensure match was completed on Wednesday.

French Open champion Maria Sharapova faced a difficult test in her third round match, dropping the first set to German Sabine Lisicki. The Russian, who has won all four slams in a hugely successful career, eventually pulled off a 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3 win.

Sharapova, who carried the Russian flag at the opening ceremony, will now face former world number one Kim Clijsters in the quarter finals after the Belgian ground out a 6-3, 6-4 win over Serbia's Ana Ivanovic.

Clijsters, who is retiring at the end of this season, hit less winners than her Serbian rival, but forced 41 errors from her..

"The conditions were not easy today but it was a fun court to play on. Most of the TV courts are huge and there's a lot of room around them but here you can really feel the impact of the crowd and it was very enjoyable," Clijsters said.

"I feel like I've been playing some really good tennis in the first three matches here, it's just a matter of trying to keep that up and before every match I need to refocus and stay on target.

"There was lots of Belgian support and Serbian too, it was fun."

Victoria Azarenka also progressed to the quarter finals after she comfortably beat Russian Nadia Petrova 7-6, 6-4. The world number one has enjoyed a comfortable route to the quarters, but now faces Venus Williams' conqueror Angelique Kerber.

Caroline Wozniacki completes the women's quarter final lineup. The Danish player looked to be rediscovering the form that made her number one in the rankings as she beat Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.