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Serena sent tumbling out

Top seed Serena Williams was beaten 1-6 6-3 6-4 by French 25th seed Alize Cornet in the third round at Wimbledon.

It was the 32-year-old five-time former champion's second defeat of 2014 to Cornet, the first coming at the Dubai Championships in February.

For the first time since 2006, neither Serena nor Venus Williams will appear in the second week of the Wimbledon singles.World No 1 Williams has won 17 Grand Slam titles, but she now has departed before the quarter-finals at four of the past five. That run includes a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open in January and a second-round loss at the French Open in May.

It is Williams' earliest exit at the All England Club since 2005, when she also was beaten in the third round.

Williams fought off break points in the opening game of the deciding set but Cornet upped her level at 2-2 to move ahead and then broke serve again to lead 5-2.

The veteran American clawed her way back to 4-5 but Cornet held her nerve when she served for the match for a second time, moving to match point when Williams put an easy volley into the net.The match was over when Williams chased down a Cornet dropshot but smacked an attempted backhand pass into the net.

"I just cannot believe it," said 24-year-old Cornet after reaching the last 16 of a grand slam for only the second time in 34 attempts.

"After the break because of the rain I couldn't move my legs, I was so slow. After 6-1 in 15 minutes I was like this will be tough. But I finally made it through, I don't know how just with my heart and the help of the crowd."

Cornet had been 0-13 against top-20 opponents in Grand Slam matches heading into this one.

Williams said: "I know that I can do better. I know that I have potential to continue to be on top.

"So hopefully that's what keeps me motivated, I guess. I think this defeat is important to study. Right now I don't really know what I did wrong.

"Usually I do. Usually I know I did this, that or that.

"I have a few ideas, but this will be a really good one for me to assess and figure out what I can do, to do better next time.

"That's happened to me a few times, but it's fun: it kind of gives you a mission to work on, gives you goals to work towards to see what you can do better."