Serena Williams is out of the Australian Open. The 8th seed and 23-time Grand Slam champion was beaten in three sets by China’s Wang Qiang.
Also out is Caroline Wozniacki, who was beaten by Tuinisia’s Ons Jabeur, in what turned out to be the last match of her illustrious career.
Wang played Williams in the quarter finals of the US Open last year and managed to win just one game. This time it was different from the outset, as she smashed winners and kept an out of sorts Williams off balance. She won the first set 6-4 with some powerful and smart tennis.
She was a break up in the 2nd set but Williams wasn’t conceding anything. She took advantage of Wang’s nerves to break her when she was serving for the set, and then demolished her in the tie break, taking it 7-2.
The two both upped their game in the decider, neither able to get past the others serve. That is until the final game, with Williams serving to extend the match. But she was on the back foot instantly. Although she threw away two match points, Wang managed to convert the third break to win the match 6-4 6-7 and 7-5.
Next she faces Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who beat former world number one and Williams’ good friend, Caroline Wozanicki in three sets. Wozniacki was playing her final professional tournament at the event she won in 2018.
“I think it was only fitting that my last match would be a three setter, a grinder and that I would finish my career with a forehand error. I think those are the things that I’ve been working on my whole career, and I guess this was just meant to be,” says Wozniacki.
World number one, local hero Ashleigh Barty, is also through after Thrashing Elena Rybakina in an earlier match, 6-3 6-2.