German whirlwind Sabine Lisicki blew China's French Open champion Li Na out of Wimbledon Thursday as the Asia's first Grand Slam winner wilted under the most intimidating service in the women's game.
Third seeded Li slumped to a 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 second round loss to wildcard Lisicki who saved two match points in the ninth game of the third set with back-to-back serves which cracked the 120mph barrier.
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.
It was the German's booming serve which proved crucial as she fired 17 aces and powered down 21 winners in the 2hr 11min encounter.
"From the first point until the end of the match, every serve was like 117mph. It's impossible for women," said Li.
"We both played a great match. I was just a little unlucky. I had two match points but I couldn't do anything about them."
The 21-year-old Lisicki, whose career suffered a huge setback in 2010 when a serious left ankle injury sidelined her for four months, will tackle Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi for a place in the last 16.
"It's been terrible. I had no muscles in my left calf after seven weeks on crutches. So I had to start to learn how to walk again," said Lisicki, a quarter-finalist in 2009.
She next faces Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi, who put out China's Zheng Jie, and will again be looking to capitalise on her booming serve.
"I have always had a powerful serve. I think it's one of the best on women's tennis," said the world number 62.
It is not the first time Serena and sister Venus -- a five-time Wimbledon champion -- have had to play away from the showpiece Centre Court and Court One.
"They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. They (Nadal and Djokovic) are never moved across. Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players or by ourselves in doubles even.
"I don't make it a big issue, but I think at some point maybe I should."
Birthday girl Francesca Schiavone, the sixth seed and 2010 Roland Garros champion, was also a winner on the day she turned 30 as the Italian beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.
Rain delays on the outside courts meant that top seed Caroline Wozniacki's tie with France's Virginie Razzano and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova's match aganist 17-year-old British wildcard Laura Robson, were held over until Friday.
Source: AFP Global Edition