MELBOURNE PARK, Australia â€“ Five-time champion Serena Williams was stunned in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday by Russiaâ€™s Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-3 in Rod Laver Arena.
â€œI think she played really well,â€ the 12 seeded Williams said of her opponent ranked 56th in the world.Â â€œShe went for broke on a lot of her shots.Â I made 37 errors.Â That kind of tells the story of the match.â€
Williams appeared sluggish throughout the match. â€œIt was definitely hot out thereâ€¦.. I guess I just didn’t move the way I wanted to.Â I tried,â€ said Williams.
WilliamsÂ was asked by media if she would have played this tournament if it has not been a Grand Slam to which she replied, â€œNo, no way.Â I probably shouldn’t have played.Â But no way. â€œ
â€œI never blame any injury that I have because I feel like, uhm, she played really well and she deserved the win today.Â I look forward to our next match.Â I feel like I definitely can play so much better.
â€œAnd that’s good.Â Like if I felt like I couldn’t play better, then that would be a problem.
In response to the loss, â€œOh, I always think about things that I can do better next time around,â€ noted Williams.Â â€œThat’s usually how I kind of respond.Â I’m thinking already about practicing as soon as tomorrow, you know, trying to figureÂ â€‘â€‘ I can just think of a hundred things I can do.
â€œSo, like I said, it’s a good thing I’m in that position as opposed to saying I couldn’t do any better.â€
Williams said the she will be playing Fed Cup the first weekend in February when the US faces Belarus in Worcester, Massachusetts.
A happy Makarova spoke about the match,”I’m surprised because she’s a great player and it’s really tough to play against her.Â But, I don’t know, I just feeling so good and so focus.Â So I played my game, and that’s it.Â I won against Serena.Â That’s amazing.”
“I played her in Beijing and I really afraid her because she’s a great player and it’s really tough to play against her.Â But this time, I don’t know, yeah, I felt so comfortable.
“I really like thought that I could beat her.Â So, yeah, maybe in my head that helped me.”
Makarova will face the winner of the Maria Sharapova – Sabine Lisicki match in the quarterfinals.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News.