Teenager Stephens sends legend packing




American teenager Sloane Stephens stuns Serena Williams out of Australian Open

American teenager Sloane Stephens stuns Serena Williams out of Australian Open

American teenager Sloane Stephens sent injured tournament favorite Serena Williams crashing out of the Australian Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

29th seed Stephens held her nerve to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a lengthy 2hr 17min after compatriot Serena Williams, already troubled by an ankle injury, needed treatment for back spasm.

The third seeded American Williams appeared to hurt her back while attempting to pull up a short off the net during the eighth game of the second set. She called for a trainer after the ninth game with the score 5-4 and on serve.

Stephens won the second set when Williams, serving slower than usual, was broken. Williams also had her service broken in the final game of the match.

At 2-1 and on the way to a changeover in the third set, Williams smashed her racket angrily on the court then threw it toward her chair.

Serena Williams had never lost a match to a younger American in her career before this match. The tournament favorite suffered an injury to her ankle in an earlier match but seemingly recovered from it to play in the quarter finals.

Stephens will play defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.

The number one seed Victoria Azarenka brushed aside Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the one sided quarterfinals 7-5,6-1 to progress through to the semi-finals. The Russian fought hard in the first set but had no answers to the terrific baseline tennis and serving from Azarenka.

Serena Williams fell short on her bid for 2nd career “Serena Slam”. She had won 2 previous majors and 18 consecutive Grand Slam matches.

The fixtures are now favoring the in-form Russian Maria Sharapova who has lost only five games so far in her path to quarter-finals and look all set to claim the season opening Grand Slam unless there is a turn around like one seen on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it was curtains for Rohan Bopanna at the Australian Open after the Indian and his Chinese Taipei partner Su-Wei Hsieh made an exit from the mixed doubles event following a straight-set quarterfinal loss here on Wednesday.

Unseeded Bopanna, already out of the men’s doubles event, and Hsieh went down 2-6 3-6 the Czech-Polish combination of the Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski. The 56-minute clash was completely dominated by Peschke and Matkowski, who did not concede a single break of serve during the match.

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