There might be nothing more amusing at Wimbledon than past champions getting knocked out early. That allows the British press to prompt them into some un-Wimbledon-like comments in postmatch news conferences.

What's better than Venus Williams being reminded that her quarterfinal exit Tuesday wasn't quite in line with her five titles and three finals appearances since 2000?

"Obviously I'm not pleased with this result, but I have to move on," Williams said. "What else can I do? Unless I have a time machine, which I don't."

You have to wonder whether Williams also might have given Tsvetana Pironkova a little more credit, too, if given a chance to do it again.

At least she was asked about her own game. When Roger Federer got bounced from the tournament he has won six times, the entire interview became a setup for questions about Andy Murray. An entire nation is about to get itself twisted in knots over the door opening for Murray to become the first British men's champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

(The tournament has to be hoping this happens, too, since Serena Williams is the only recognizable name left in the ladies' singles draw while both the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers were shockingly upset in the doubles quarterfinals. Luckily, England also is out of the World Cup.)

"I wonder if you think this might be [Murray's] year, given some of the really threatening players haven't been doing so well this year," Federer was asked after being upset by Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

Federer, who already had shot down any notion that he intended to watch the rest of the tournament now that he was out, gave the press members exactly what they were looking for.

"Yeah, I mean, true, Rafa [Nadal] played terribly lately," Federer sneered. "[Robin] Soderling is not a threat either. He's got an easy ride to this victory, that's for sure. [Novak] Djokovic can't play tennis anymore it seems like. ... Respect the players. Obviously Andy is a fantastic player, and he's got all the chances to win here. We all know that."

Sarcasm always works better than time travel.