The American tennis star Serena Williams has crashed out of Australian Open 2019 after a surprise loss to Karolina Pliskova in a three set thriller.
Karolina Pliskova defeated Williams 6-4 4-6 7-5, the second time the Czech has toppled the legendary American at a major, after the 2016 US Open.
37-year-old Serena Williams was up 5-1 in the 3rd set but eventually lost 7-5 and will have to wait for another Grand Slam.
Pliskova looked frazzled after the extraordinary comeback from 5-1 down in the deciding set, admiting her “mind was already in the locker room”.
Serena expressed disappointment in her post-match interview not being able to close the game at the Rod Laver Arena but refused to blame injury.
She said, “My ankle is fine, maybe I’ll feel it tomorrow. I think she played incredible on match points, just hitting lines. I didn’t call the trainer out because I didn’t feel I needed it.”
Speaking after the encounter Pliskova stated that she did not rule herself out of the encounter despite Serena being just one set from victory.
She said, “She improved her game in the second set. She was playing very well, went for her shots. I was a bit passive.
“It was tough because she was really playing well. I didn’t have many chances in the third set and I was too passive, mentally down,” she said. “I said let’s try this game 5-2, maybe I will have a couple of chances. She did got a little bit shaky in the end. So I took my chances and I won.”
My mind wasn’t in the locker room, I was still here. I was a bit passive. But I said ‘let’s try this game’. I took my chances and I won.
“I am happy I get to play two days in a row. Osaka’s dangerous but I don’t think anyone is more dangerous than Serena. So I will enjoy this one.”