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The Williams v Lisicki social wash-up

Twitter responds to Serena Williams's exit
by Charlotte James
Monday 1 July 2013

The Serena Williams v Sabine Lisicki match had Wimbledon’s social media set on the edge of their tweets right up until the last ball. And, as the chalk dust settled on Lisicki’s winning forehand approach, the Twitterverse approached meltdown with 2,500 tweets per minute featuring #Serena, #Williams, or a combination of the two tags.

In the two and a half hours following match point, Serena’s demise was the topic of 40,739 tweets, Lisicki’s victory the focus of 13,213 tweets. And, while @Wimbledon’s tweet announcing the match result generated 1,858 re-tweets within two hours, news of the upset also prompted a Facebook frenzy. The Wimbledon page post announcing Lisicki’s success was ‘liked’ more than 12,500 times within an hour of Serena’s defeat, shared more than 2,600 times and attracted 1,700 comments from fans.

This comment alone, posted by Facebook fan Anna Krivankova, attracted hundreds of likes: “Just can't understand people are complaining about this year's upsets. Isn't it great NOT to see still the same old faces in the semi-finals and finals? There are more players capable of great feats than just Nadal, Federer, Williams, Sharapova etc. Personally, I'm very excited to see some fresh blood in Wimbledon this year.

The terms/name Williams and Serena were the top mentions in Facebook posts, with Lisicki mentions increasing by over 11000% from before her dominating performance. 

Wimbledon’s fans weren’t the only ones taking to the social sphere in the wake of Lisicki streak-severing triumph, Wimbledon’s commentary cognoscenti, including @GregRusedski, expressing surprise at the outcome: “Didn't see that one Serena out. Robson out. What a shame. Woman's Wimbledon completely open.”

Wimbledon’s resident pigeon-fancier @Rufusthehawk was similarly blindsided, tweeting (literally): “Wow! That was pretty unexpected!!”

If nothing else, Patrick McEnroe and Brad Gilbert’s tweets perfectly summed up their differing communication styles. “Wow,” tweeted @PatrickMcEnroe, while 140 characters were barely enough to accommodate @bgtennisnation’s: “Holy Toledo I don’t believe it the biggest upset in my mind of the tourney.Boom Boom Lisicki pulls the monster upset on SW”.

Perhaps anticipating rioting on Southfield’s quiet suburban streets following this latest ladies' singles stunner even the local police took to twitter following Serena’s demise, @MPSMerton tweeting: “WOW ! That has got to be the shock of the tournament so far ! #Wimbledon”.

Fortunately twice Wimbledon semi-finalist @ClijstersKim was online to offer a sensible – somewhat motherly –reality check to conquering heroine Lisicki: “Lets see if lisicki can keep it up now! So many players think tournament is done when beating top player! #refocus #nocelebrationsyet”.

Former Wimbledon winning doubles partners Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver took opposite sides of the court in the matter of Lisicki v Williams, @Martina tweeting: “Wow- blown away by Lisicki - she held up under pressure and beat the defending champ and overwhelming favorite, Serena Williams. Congrats,” while @PHShriver tweeted “Even at the cost of dissing media some, nice that Serena gave a lot of credit to @sabinelisicki and her serve.”

But it fell to @HeatherWatson92 to tweet what the rest of us are really thinking, aceing the hashtag test with the pithy: “Who's winning Wimbledon this year on the women's side? #IHaventGotAClue.”

Tweets received during 1st July to 19.30pm

Serena Williams - 60615
Laura Robson - 41715
Andy Murray - 33328
Sabine Lisicki - 19076
Novak Djokovic - 17691
David Ferrer - 3712
Mikhail Youzhny - 3676
Kaia Kanepi - 2587 

Follow the latest news and scores from Wimbledon 2013 on Wimbledon.com or download the official iPad,  iPhone and Android apps

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