Serena Williams suffered her earliest exit from the Australian Open in 14 years, falling to a shock defeat to China’s Wang Qiang in a stunning third-round upset.
The American’s bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title ended with a 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 defeat to Wang.
When they met at the US Open last summer, Wang won just one game and 15 points, but it was a completely different story this time as the 27th seed claimed the win of her life as well as leaving Williams’ dreams in tatters.
Williams was highly critical of her own performance after making 56 unforced errors, saying: “I was optimistic I would be able to win. I thought, ‘OK now finish this off’. I honestly didn’t think I was going to lose that match.
“I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today.
“If we were just honest with ourselves, it’s all on my shoulders. I lost that match. It’s not about the tournament, it’s just like I can’t play like that. I literally can’t do that again. That’s unprofessional. It’s not cool.”