Top seed Serena Williams suffered a shock exit from the Wimbledon, while Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal remained on course for a French Open and Wimbledon double on Saturday at the All England Club.
The 32-year-old Serena squandered a one-set advantage and went down 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Alize Cornet of France. The American overpowered the Frenchwoman in the opening set, but Cornet, who had already defeated the six-time champion earlier in the season, clawed back to clinch the second set and force the decider.
Serena faced a breakpoint in the opening game of the third set, but managed to hold on. However, Cornet broke Serena's serve in the fifth and seventh game to take a 5-2 advantage. The former champion rallied back to 4-5, but the Frenchwomen served out the match.
"She kept her unforced errors really low. I don't know. I think I made a few errors too many," Serena said. "You know, she was going for her shots. She just played really well today.
"I thought I was playing well. I worked really hard coming into this event. It's okay, though. Sometimes it happens. You work hard, but maybe it's not for today, maybe it's for tomorrow. But, yeah, so I've just got to keep going."
Meanwhile, Russian Sharapova ousted Alison Riske of America 6-3, 6-0 in just 69 minutes at Center Court. The 27-year-old, who is yet to drop a set in The Championships this year, will next face Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the pre-quarterfinals.
Riske matched the Russian from strength to strength initially in the match and broke Sharapova's serve in the fourth game. The former champion made a comeback and broke the American's serve in the sixth game to level the set at 3-3.
Sharapova raced away with the first set, racking up 25 winners while committing just 12 unforced errors. She played a near-perfect second set and clinched the encounter to zoom into the Round of 16.
"I didn't want to get broken in the first game, but besides that break point I lost on my serve I didn't face another one throughout the match, so I was quite pleased about that," Sharapova said.
"Overall she can be a dangerous player on grass," she added. "She has proved that before. Even though we played a long time ago, it was a three set match, and going into this one I knew that I had to be there. I thought I did a good job of maintaining my focus until the end."
In another fourth round encounter, world number one Nadal, after losing the opening set, rallied back to clinch the encounter 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Kukushkin dominated the Spaniard at the start, but the two-time champion overpowered the Kazakh in the next three sets to move into the last 16 for the first time in three years at the All England Club.
"I've finished all the matches [this week] playing better than when I started; that's very positive," Nadal told to BBC. "I'm very happy to be in the second week again after two years of losing in the first and second round. I had good tactics today; I was fighting for every ball and looking for solutions."