Dejected Serena rues 'crazy' play after Open exit
Defending champion Serena Williams blamed "crazy" mistakes for her Australian Open exit on Tuesday, insisting she had her quarter-final against Jelena Jankovic under control but threw it away.sports Updated: Jan 22, 2008 19:49 IST
Defending champion Serena Williams blamed "crazy" mistakes for her Australian Open exit on Tuesday, insisting she had her quarter-final against Jelena Jankovic under control but threw it away.
In an assessment starkly at odds with the emphatic 6-3, 6-4 scoreline, Williams said her own errors cost her victory, rather than the Serbian's third seed's tenacity in chasing down every ball across her half of the court.
"The match was on my racquet and I gave it away," the eight-time Grand Slam champion lamented, after failing to progress beyond the quarter-finals at her fourth straight Grand Slam.
"I went crazy, maybe, and I made a lot of mistakes. I didn't really play the game I wanted to play."
The 26-year-old was ranked 81 in the world and coming back from injury when she stunned the tennis world with a rampaging title run last year but denied expectations had weighed on her this year, when she was seeded seventh.
"The only pressure traditionally I feel is the pressure I put on myself and I didn't really put any pressure on me," the three-time Australian champion said.
"I felt like I was going to do better than this, but I guess, you know, I was wrong. Can't always be right."
Williams received treatment for a blister on her right foot during the one hour 38 minute clash but said it did not play a part in the defeat.
She did, however, say an unspecified ailment hampered her movement on the court and prevented her fully exploiting her booming serve.
"I wasn't moving the way I wanted to, the way I was in the previous rounds, and I wasn't able to serve the way I wanted to," she said.
Williams made 36 unforced errors compared to Jankovic's 17 and could not find the serving power that produced 15 aces against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third round.
"I definitely couldn't find any rhythm out there. I felt like my shots were spraying," she said. "I was just kind of all over the place."
She also lambasted her poor shot selection and said she failed to chase down some returns that were within her reach.
The dejected American spoke earlier in the tournament about attending a concert by rock back "The Police" in Mebourne next Saturday but said she would now skip the event because "I don't deserve it".
The normally upbeat Williams said it would take a while before she had a smile on her face again.
"It's hard," he said. "Me being the person I am, I'm pretty much a perfectionist. If things don't go right then I have problems with that. It's not the end of the world."
To rub salt into her wounds, Williams and sister Venus were dumped out of the doubles when Chinese duo Zi Yan and Jie Zheng came from behind for a three set victory.
She still backed her sister to win her first Australian title in nine attempts.
"I definitely hope the best for her and I want her to go all the way," she said.
"I think she's the best player, the toughest competition for me whenever I play her. She's playing so solid. I think she'll do really well."
Venus plays Serbian fourth seed Ana Ivanovic for a place in the semi-finals on Wednedsay.