London: China`s French Open champion Li Na crashed out of Wimbledon on Thursday, losing 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 to German wildcard Sabine Lisicki in the second round.
Third seeded Li, who made the quarterfinals in 2006, was made to regret squandering two match points when she led 5-4 in the decider as the big-hitting German hit back to claim a famous victory.
Lisicki collapsed to her knees in tears on the covered Centre Court when she clinched the gripping tie with victory secured on her third match point in the 14th game of the deciding set.
The 21-year-old Lisicki, whose career suffered a huge setback in 2010 when a serious ankle injury sidelined her for four months, will tackle Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi for a place in the last 16.
"The crowd really helped me when I was facing two match points. They cheered so loudly, I have never heard such a noise," said the winner, a quarterfinalist in 2009.”
Li had eased through the first set with a break in the eighth game.
But Lisicki hit back in the second with a break to lead 3-1 before handing back the advantage in the ninth.
She wasn`t to be denied, however, and levelled the match in the 10th game.
Li was again in charge with a break to lead 3-2 in the final set before a thrilling finale.
At 3-5 down, Lisicki unleashed two serves at 122mph and 123mph to save match points followed by her 14th and 15th aces to take the game and cut the deficit to 4-5.
Lisicki then broke for 5-5, handed back the break for Li to lead 6-5 before the gallant blonde German refused to buckle and retrieved the break for 6-6.
She confidently held for 7-6 and then carved out three match points in the 14th game.
Li saved two but cracked on the third when she sent a crosscourt drive wide.