Serena William, American tennis star, has been eliminated from the Australian Open — in the third round of the tournament.
The 38-year-old mother of one was dumped out of the first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season by China’s Qiang Wang, losing 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5.
The defeat means Serena’s search for a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam singles title continues.
Serena uncharacteristically made 56 errors in a match she dropped the first and needed tie break to force a third set which she eventually lost on her serve in the final game.
It is Williams’ earliest exit in the Australian Open for 14 years — when she was eliminated at the same round by Daniela Hantuchova in 2006.
Speaking following her triumph, Wang, the 27th seed in Australia who was dispatched in 44 minutes at last season’s US Open by Serena, credited focus and a trust in her ability for the biggest upset yet in the tournament.
“After the second set I was a little bit confused, but my mind always said I had to focus on the court, on every point and trust myself,” the 26-year-old said.
Quang Wang will now face 25-year-old Tunisian Ons Jabeur, ranked 78th in the world, in the fourth round.
15-year-old Gauff ends Osaka’s title defence in Australian Open shock
Coco Gauff, American teenage sensation, has pulled off the latest and biggest upset yet in the Australian Open, defeating Naomi Osaka, defending champion.
The shocking win comes at about the same time when Serena William, US tennis star, was eliminated from the tournament by China’s Qiang Wang.
The 15-year-old teenager dispatched the Japanese — ranked fourth in the world — in straight sets 6-3 6-4 in just over an hour of tennis at the Rod Laver Arena.
The win means she has qualified for the fourth round of the Australian Open at only her second attempt.
Gauff seized the initiative in the ninth game to break her 24-year-old opponent who also suffered 30 unforced errors to hand the American the victory.
Gauff, who only turned professional in 2018 at 14, was handed victory by a feeble defence from Osaka, the first woman to win her first two Grand Slam events back-to-back since 2011.
Speaking after the victory, the world number 67 said she was surprise at taking to the slams quickly, despite an underwhelming attempt at junior level.
“I don’t know where that came from, honestly, like, what is my life?” Gauff exclaimed.
“Two years ago I lost in the first round in juniors and now I’m here. I was telling myself one point at a time and keep fighting. You never know what happens on this court.”
Gauff, who also reached the fourth round of the Wimbledon Open last year, awaits her opponent in the next round — which would be either China’s Shui Zhang or Sofia Kenin of USA.