Millennium Post

Stephens serves Serena shocker

Reigning champion Victoria Azarenka overcame early jitters to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova here on Wednesday and advance to the semifinal of Australian Open while one of her rivals and tournament favourite Serena Williams suffered a shock defeat to American teenager Sloane Stephens.

After dropping serve in a long fourth game which went to deuce 10 times, Azarenka recovered to dominate the rest of match and canter to a 7-5, 6-1 win.  Azarenka broke Kuznetsova’s serve in the 11th game of the one hour 17 minutes match and then held her own service in the next game to win her third set point when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Azarenka will meet 19-year-old Sloane Stephens, who stunned Serena 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Williams, who was troubled by ankle problems earlier in the tournament, required treatment for back spasms and smashed her racquet as the match slipped away.


US Open champion Andy Murray reached the semifinal on Wednesday after a straight-sets victory over unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. The 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory in one hour and 51 minutes extends the Scot’s winning streak at the majors to 12 since his breakthrough US Open triumph, which ended a 76-year winless streak by British men in Grand Slams. Murray broke Chardy’s service eight times and played a clean match with 32 winners against 20 unforced errors.


Serena Williams said she was ‘almost relieved’ to go tumbling out of the Australian Open Wednesday after injury turned her 50th Grand Slam appearance into the worst of her life. Williams, who was targeting a calendar-year Grand Slam and aiming to become the oldest women’s world number one in history, was stunned 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 by teenager Sloane Stephens. After rolling her ankle in her first match and hitting herself in the mouth with her racquet in the second, the 31-year-old suffered back spasms in the second set against Stephens which limited her movement.
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