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Serena still bitter over Mauresmo defeat

Memories of that one loss two years ago in the Italian Open still bothers Williams as she prepares for their match at Melbourne.
PTI | By Rob Woollard (AFP), Melbourne
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2005 12:49 PM IST

Serena Williams will carry the bitter memory of her one and only defeat to Amelie Mauresmo into their Australian Open quarter-final in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old American former world number one has history on her side ahead of the showdown, having only lost once in nine previous meetings with the Frenchwoman.

But that one defeat two years ago in the semi-finals of the Italian Open in Rome still bothers Williams, who was within two points of victory only to see Mauresmo win 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Williams has not forgotten a controversial over-rule by the chair umpire which gave Mauresmo a break for a 5-3 lead in the final set. Four subsequent errors from a still-fuming Williams effectively handed Mauresmo the match.

"I'm definitely going to think about that," Williams said when asked if the defeat rankled. "I'm still a little bitter about the situation -- very bitter, actually."

Though Williams has since proved that she more than has Mauresmo's measure, winning their last three encounters, the American is wary of an opponent who has taken her to three sets five times.

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