Serena Williams upset by fellow American Stephens at Aussie Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams’ dominating run at the majors is over. American teenager Sloane Stephens is headed to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams’ dominating run at the majors is over. American teenager Sloane Stephens is headed to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

Williams injured her back in the second set, hampering her serve, and the 19-year-old Stephens kept her composure in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory on Wednesday.

It was the first loss since Aug. 17 for the 15-time Grand Slam winner, ending a run of 20 consecutive wins. She hadn’t lost a match at a Grand Slam tournament since the French Open, where the first-round exit sparked a resurgence in the second half of 2012 that included titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics, the U.S. Open and the WTA Championship.

After winning her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Stephens next plays defending champion Victoria Azarenka.

With her most famous fan sitting in the crowd wearing a shirt reminding her to keep calm, top-ranked Azarenka overcame some early jitters to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1 in the earlier quarterfinal match on Rod Laver Arena.

After dropping serve in a long fourth game which went to deuce 10 times, Azarenka recovered to dominate the rest of the match against Kuznetsova, a two-time major winner who was floating dangerously in the draw with a No. 75 ranking as she recovers from a knee injury.

Williams’ loss was a boost for Azarenka, who lost all five head-to-heads against the American in 2012 and is 1-11 in their career meetings.

In the men’s quarterfinals, 17-time major winner Roger Federer was playing No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a night match and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray was to meet Jeremy Chardy of France.

Novak Djokovic is already through to the semifinals after his 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych on Tuesday night.

The 2-hour, 31-minute victory took exactly half the time of his five-set, fourth-round win against Stanislas Wawrinka.

“It was a great performance. I was hoping to have a shorter match … just not to go over 5 hours,” Djokovic said, in a comparatively subdued mood after a more routine victory. “It’s always going to be tough against Tomas; he’s an established player. He has a big game, big serve. He can compete against anyone on any surface.”

Djokovic will meet No. 4-seeded David Ferrer in the semifinals. Ferrer survived a quarterfinal battle with fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro. Almagro had three chances to serve for the match, but Ferrer broke back each time and went on to win 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Maria Sharapova had a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over Ekatrina Makarova on Tuesday, and has conceded only nine games in five matches — a record in Australia.

“To be honest, those are not the stats you want to be known for,” Sharapova said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Region Highland Dancing Association to participate in national dance-a-thon

Central Albertan dancers have missed performing during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the… Continue reading

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Red Deer asking for feedback on new transit routes

The new routes will begin Aug. 23

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake; Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

Quebec festivals organizers look to innovate as restrictions loosened

Montreal has been having its quietest summer in recent memory, as COVID-19… Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreaks over in federal prisons, staff preparing for ‘new normal’

COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s federal prisons have been declared over, and staff… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

OTTAWA — The federal government will match all individual donations from Canadians… Continue reading

Protests in Beirut amid public fury over massive blast

BEIRUT — Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators in Lebanon’s… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Most Read