TURNING POINT Serena Williams crashes out of Australian Open after twisting left ankle on first of FOUR match points when 5-1 up in third set

The American sporting giant was on the verge of booking her spot in the semi-finals until an ankle injury on match point saw her lose the next SIX games to Karolina Pliskova

23 January 2019 - 14:12

SERENA WILLIAMS is OUT of the Australian Open – after injuring her left ankle on the first of her four match points.

The American was serving to move into the semi-finals in Melbourne and a reunion with US Open champion Naomi Osaka.

 Serena Williams turned her ankle on match point and the injury contributed to her exit
Getty Images - Getty
Serena Williams turned her ankle on match point and the injury contributed to her exit

The 37-year-old lost the first set and was a break down in the second but fought back to lead 5-1 in the deciding third set against Czech Karolina Pliskova.

But while during the rally on match point at 40-30, she appeared to turn her ankle and was in great discomfort. Serena did not win another point on serve after that moment.

Pliskova broke Serena's serve to win that game - helped by a double fault and unforced error from the American - and then claimed the next five games in a row to move into the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time after an astonishing two-hour battle.

Overall Williams squandered FOUR match points and said: "There's nothing I did wrong on those match points. I can't say that I choked. She literally played her best tennis ever on those shots.

 She remains just one short of Margaret Court's record which has lasted for 44 years
EPA
She remains just one short of Margaret Court's record which has lasted for 44 years
 Serena was nursing her ankle as she let her massive advantage slip away uncharacteristically
EPA
Serena was nursing her ankle as she let her massive advantage slip away uncharacteristically

"I don't really take losses well. But Karolina played lights out starting 5-1, 40-30. Literally, I've never seen anything like it. If anything, that's a little bit easier to know.

"OK, next time I'm up 5-1 against anybody, I just need to make sure I play lights out when I have match points.

"I really hate calling the trainer out. And at that point I didn't feel like I needed it, or I didn't feel like it would be a big deal. So I just kept going. I like to just kind of tough it out. It was fine."

Pliskova reached only her third Grand Slam semi-final and first in Melbourne with the victory. The 26-year-old star said: “Serena improved her game in the second set, she went for her shots, she was more aggressive. I was struggling.

 Williams was in great discomfort and lost the last six games to Karolina Pliskova
AFP or licensors
Williams was in great discomfort and lost the last six games to Karolina Pliskova
 She did not try and make excuses afterwards and accepted that Pliskova finished strongly
EPA
She did not try and make excuses afterwards and accepted that Pliskova finished strongly

“I played too passive. On one hand I was almost in the locker room, now I am standing here as the winner. It’s a good feeling.

“My mind was in the locker room. She was playing well.

“I didn’t have many chances. Mentally I was down. I just said: ‘Let’s try to keep playing, at 5-2, and I will have chances.’

“She got a bit shaky at the end. I took my chances and then won.”

 Pliskova will now face US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals
AP:Associated Press
Pliskova will now face US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals

 

This news 41 hits received.

COMMENTS

  • 0 Comment
No comments added yet. Be the first to comment..
MAY INTEREST YOU x
THROUGH THE ROOF I paid £7k to fix the roof on My First Home after previous owner used SUPER GLUE to fix tiles
THROUGH THE ROOF I paid £7k to fix the roof on My First Home after...
DELAY, MAY... OR PAY Theresa May told to delay Brexit if there’s No Deal to halt Commons rebellion
DELAY, MAY... OR PAY Theresa May told to delay Brexit if there’s No...