Serena Williams suffers earliest exit from Australian Open:'It’s all on my shoulders'
On Friday, the 24th of January 2020, the red-letter sedulous, Serena Williams had suffered her earliest parting from an Australian Open in fourteen years.
She lost to the 27th Seed 28-year-old Chinese Wang Qiang 4-6, 6-7(2), 5-7 following an astounding third-round that turned the tables and delayed Serena Williams’s bid for the record 24th Gram Slam title once again.
In factuality, it has been the 38-year-old Michigan athletes’ earliest exit from the year’s first major tournament since 2006, while her title defence had been rampaged by Daniela Hantuchova.
As Serena’s record-setting run for the 24th Grand Slam title was toiled in tatters by the Chinese No.
1 who knocked off the First Seed Ash Barty at the US Open fourth round last year, an apologetic Serena Williams, whose Gram Slam window was closing in over the horizon, said in a post-match interview on Friday (January 24th),
“It’s all on my shoulders.
I just have to pretend like I don’t want to punch the wall, but in reality, I do. I’m way too old to play like this at this stage of my career.
I’m definitely going to be training tomorrow. That’s first and foremost, to make sure I don’t do this again. ”
"I can't play like that. I literally can't do that again. That's unprofessional. It's not cool," Williams said.
The seven-time champion in Melbourne beat 28-year-old Wang in just 44 minutes at the US Open in September when the Chinese player won only one game and 15 points.
That was not reflective of the ability of a player who has been a regular fixture in the world's top 30 over the past 18 months and reached a career high of 12 after her run in New York.
This time, after initially flinching when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, she made amends in spectacular fashion.
Wang had the tools to hurt Williams and continued to execute them in a third set in which most observers would have backed her illustrious opponent to go on and win.
After briefly faltering again as Williams rallied, Wang sealed victory on her third match point.
"I honestly didn't think I was going to lose that match," said Williams when asked on her thoughts after levelling at one set all.
Williams had not lost so early in Melbourne since falling to Daniela Hantuchova at the same stage in 2006
Williams, seeded eighth, came into the match on the back of winning the Auckland Classic and relatively straightforward wins over Russia's Anastasia Potapova and Slovakia's Tamara Zidansek.
Instead of those results laying the platform for another title challenge, they preceded her earliest exit at the Australian Open since 2006.
"I made a lot of errors. I didn't hit any of those shots in New York or in general in a really long time," Williams said.
Opportunities to equal Margaret Court's record of Grand Slam singles titles are running out for Williams, who is in her 23rd year as a professional.
She has not won a Slam since the 2017 Australian Open, when she was eight weeks pregnant.
Williams says she still has the drive to win that elusive 24th title and believes she can still match Australian Court.
"I definitely do believe or I wouldn't be on tour," she said.
"I don't play just to have fun. To lose is really not fun."