by Helen Earnshaw |
Serena Williams' hopes of winning another Australian Open title were dashed today as she fell in straight sets to Ekaterina Makarova.
Williams may not have had many matches under her belt coming into the tournament but in the first week that didn't appear to hinder her.
But in her fourth round clash with the unseeded Makarova is was an error strewn game from the American - making thirty seven unforced errors.
Williams' dominating serve was also not firing as well as we are use to and she was broken twice in the opening set as she lost in 2-6.
Into the second and it looked like Williams was going to hit back when she broke Makarova in her opening service game to lead 2-0.
But the Russian never faltered as she hit back immediately to once again break to Williams serve and get the set back on level terms.
Williams continued to struggle on serve as she has seven double faults throughout the match.
And while Makarova needed four match point chances to seal the match she did come through 6-2 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam quarter final.
Speaking to WTA after the match Makarova said: "I'm surprised because she's a great player and it's really tough to play her. But I was feeling so good and so focused.
"I played my game and that's it, I won against Serena Williams. That's amazing."
She will now face compatriot Maria Sharapova as the former world number one needed three sets to see off Sabine Lisicki.
It was Sharapova who made the perfect start as a double break saw her open up a 3-0 lead in the first set as Lisicki made a nervy and error strewn start.
But the German soon pulled herself together and was able to get both serves back ad get the set back on level terms.
In all she took six games on the bounce to take the first set 6-3 as the Sharapova serve started to falter.
But Sharapova showed all her fighting spirit in the second as she was able to stop the run of games of Lisicki.
She took the second set and the match went into a third and final set - and from this point on you always felt that Sharapova's big match experience would see her through.
The Sharapova serve came under huge pressure in the third game of the final set but Lisicki was unable to convert her break point chances.
And Sharapova made her pay as she broke the German in the sixth game and never surrendered that lead.
She wrapped up the match 3-6 6-3 6-3.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw