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Serena Williams Defeated By Ivanovic In Australian Open Shock

posted 19 Jan 2014, 05:04 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 19 Jan 2014, 05:04 ]

Ana Ivanovic beats Serena Williams for the first time as the Serb wins 4-6 6-3 6-3 to make it through to the Australian Open quarter-finals while Li Na and Novak Djokovic enjoy straight-set victories.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 19, 2014) (TENNIS AUSTRALIA) - An inspired Ana Ivanovic blew the race for the Australian Open women's title wide open with a stunning upset of overwhelming favourite Serena Williams in the fourth round in Melbourneon Sunday (January 19).

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The 14th ranked Serb played the match of her life to come from a set down and secure the biggest shock of the tournament so far with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory over the world number one.

Williams was riding high on a winning streak of 25 matches going back to the start of last year's U.S. Open and had never even lost a set to Ivanovic in four previous meetings.

When Williams took the first set on Sunday it looked like the 32-year-old, who had lost just once inMelbourne in 52 matches after taking a 1-0 lead, would continue her march towards a sixth Australian Open title.

She looked a little lethargic in the opening stanza but has so often been able to count on her physicality and superior mental strength through such encounters without needing to be at her best.

Ivanovic won the French Open in 2008 but has done precious little in her sport's four majors since then and looked destined to become the latest in a string of former world number ones who failed to present a sustained threat to the American's dominance.

In the second set, though, the 26-year-old started to take the game to Williams, attacking her serve with success very few have managed and dictating the back court with her forehand.

Her tally of 20 forehand winners to two for Williams told its own tale but, most importantly, once ahead in the deciding set Ivanovic kept her head to keep Williams at bay before serving out to love for the match.

Ivanovic, who will meet Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in her quarter-final, said she held nothing back against the top seeded American.

"Yes, you know, it was very consistent and I was very happy about that," Ivanovic said afterwards. "It's not easy playing such a champion and like you said I've never beaten her before but she is also just a human and I know she has a lot of pressure too and I just really went out there, swinging at the ball and I did that really well."

Williams admitted to not feeling her best but offered no excuses.

That was until she realised coach Patrick Mouratoglou had told reporters about a back injury she sustained before her third round match.

"I don't want to blame anything," she said. "I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel she played unbelievable today. I think she went for her shots.

"It's not like I gave her the match. I tried to fight the best I could today."

Fourth seed China's Li Na earlier gave Ekaterina Makarova not so much as a sniff of an upset as she set up meeting with Pennetta by demolishing the Russian 6-2 6-0 in just under an hour.

The former French Open champion, who reached the final here last year and in 2011, briskly saved two break points in the first set, another couple at 3-0 up in the second and sealed the win with a backhand volley at the net to serve out to love.

Novak Djokovic offered his best impersonation of new coach Boris Becker both on and off the court in another flawless performance as he reached the quarter-finals for the seventh time in a row.

The four-times champion crushed Italy's 15th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3 6-0 6-2 to book his place in the last eight without losing a set.

Djokovic's dominance on return earned him an impressive 22 break opportunities but the Serb was even more accomplished on his own serve, losing just 10 points - Becker's speciality - throughout the entire match as he won a fourth straight contest without dropping a set.

But the real fun came afterwards when the second-seeded Serb impersonated the service action, walk and mannerisms of Becker, as the German looked on from the stands.

The Serb will next play either eighth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka or Spain's 17th-seedTommy Robredo.