By Craig Gabriel

WIMBLEDON: Serena Williams showed all the graciousness that comes with being a great champion. She was hurting on the Centre Court at Wimbledon having just lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round to Sabine Lisicki, yet when she put her things together she stood and waited by Lisicki’s chair till the German was ready and walked off court at the same time.

To so something like took courage. It was difficult for her to wait while the crowd remained loud in their cheering for Lisicki, but Serena was able to keep her head up high. She showed being No.1 is not all about winning matches and tournament titles.

While the tennis world, and to a great degree the sporting world, would see this result as a massive upset, Serena begged to differ.

“It’s not a shock,” said Serena.  “She plays really good on grass. She has a massive, massive serve.  So going in there you have to know that it’s definitely not going to be an easy match playing her at Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court. It’s definitely not a shock.  I just need to do better.”

Serena explained that she “didn’t play the big points good enough” and that she was not able to do what she does best and admitted to having some hesitation with her serve and returns in the final set.

“I just definitely feel like I could have went for it a little more on some of the shots,” she said. “Definitely should have made some shots. Yeah, I think Sabine played really well, as well.  I mean, she always plays really well at Wimbledon, so I knew going in it would be a tough match. But, you know, there’s huge room for improvement for me.”

There is no doubt that Serena’s fourth round match against Lisicki was the toughest of the eight. The German has a very good record on grass and at Wimbledon she has been a semi-finalist and twice a quarterfinalist. That just proves that she is right at home on the surface. However, the perfectionist that Serena is and the determination she has to win whenever she plays, make the result disappointing.

“For me any loss is extremely tough to overcome,” said Serena. “So, again, I don’t think it’s a huge shock. She is a great player. Her ranking has no effect on what she should be. She should be ranked higher. Especially on grass she just has, you know, a super, super game to play well on grass. So, yeah, I’ll just have to go back to the drawing boards and figure out a way how to win this match the next time.”

It was put to Serena in her post-match media conference that everyone has bad days so to be at your very best day after day in front of thousands of people, to be at your peak and not have an off day, must be just so tough to keep handling.

“It’s an honor, I feel, to be able to do that,” she said. “As a tennis player, you grow up and you practice every day so you can get to the point where you can play seven matches really well, you can do it consistently. That’s one of the things of being a tennis player, is you have to be able to do it and you have to be able to succeed at that.”

That’s why she is Serena Williams, that’s what makes her the champion she is and always will be.