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Venus downed by free-hitting Spaniard

Venus Williams suffered a shock defeat at the hands of a fluid and free-hitting Carla Suarez Navarro, falling 2-6 6-3 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open.

sports Updated: Jan 22, 2009 17:21 IST

Venus Williams suffered a shock defeat at the hands of a fluid and free-hitting Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday, falling 2-6 6-3 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open.

The seven-times grand slam champion, shimmering under the lights in a canary-yellow dress, held a match point late in the third set but failed to join sister Serena in the third round.

The 46th-ranked Suarez Navarro, making her Australian Open debut, stood toe-to-toe with sixth seed Venus and bettered her more illustrious opponent for much of the match before closing it out after two hours and 14 minutes.

The double-barrelled Suarez Navarro faces Spanish compatriot Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the next round.