During what was surely the first ever Wimbledon match played during a severe thunderstorm, a stadium-rattling thunderclap gave Sabine Lisicki a jolt while she was preparing for a second serve:
Wimbledon's retractable roof debuted three years ago, just in time for an unexpected run of good weather during the fortnight. This year it's gotten a workout, being used in all but three days of the championship. Never before have players ever competed during such a storm, though.
The sound of the pouring rain was deafening. Imagine being under an umbrella or an awning during a heavy storm and amplifying that sound to a 15,000-seat arena. John McEnroe, calling the match for NBC, said he couldn't believe it wasn't distracting the players.
Perhaps the noise bled into the background enough (think of the collective roar at a football stadium) where the players didn't notice. The thunder, though, was inescapable.
Lisicki went on to win the match in three sets and advanced to Thursday's semifinal. She'll face Maria Sharapova.
- Sabine Lisicki