Serena Williams, who was bidding to win her 24th Grand Slam title, suffered a shock exit from the ongoing Australian Open after losing her third-round match 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 to Wang Qiang of China at the Rod Laver Arena on Friday. On the other hand, a tearful Caroline Wozniacki bid adieu to Tennis after losing to Ons Jabeur.
The world number eight lost her opening set before rallying to equal the match in the second. However, the 27th seeded Wang resisted Serena in the final set to cause the first major upset in this year’s first Major.
Seven-time Australian Open champion Serena will have to wait further to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 titles. Since becoming a mother, Serena has now contested in seven Gand Slams and four finals in her quest to equal Court’s record.
For Wang, it was a taste of sweet revenge after Serena had defeated her in only 44 minutes in their last encounter at the US Open. The match had ended in the American’s favour 6-1, 6-0.
After winning the first set easily against a dismal and unusual Serena, Wang had the chance to serve for the match in the second set at 5-4. But the former world number one broke her serve and took the set to a tiebreaker before bringing the match to level.
The 38-year-old was struggling the final set again but managed to hold Wang for sometime before the latter sealed the match two games later.
Earlier on the day, the 2018 champion Wozniacki lost her third-round match against Jabeur at the Melbourne Arena. Wozniacki, who had announced her retirement from Tennis after this year’s Australian Open, lost 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
The 29-year-old was seen in tears after her defeat. She sat in the sidelines for a moment before addressing the crowd with an emotional speech.
“I’d like to thank the fans, the support we feel on court is really amazing. Also, the support I’ve had my from family, and especially my dad, who has coached me all those years,” she said smiling while tears rolled down.
“I usually don’t cry, sorry, those are the special moments I’ll remember. It’s been really amazing, a great ride. I really am happy, though, I’m ready for the next chapter,” she added.
Wozniacki, who was renowned for having one of the best defences, lost her final service game in the match which saw Jabeur pushing the former world number one to her maximum limit.
“I think it was only fitting that my career would end with a three-setter, a grinder. And that I would finish my career with a forehand error, these are the things I have been working for all of my career,” Wozniacki said before taking a lap of honour at the Melbourne Arena draped in a Danish flag.
Jabeur will next face Wang in the fourth round.