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Serena Williams crashes out of Aus Open

Hantuchova ousted the defending champion in straight sets in the third round.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 17:08 IST

Defending champion Serena Williams crashed out of the Australian Open on Friday in a straight sets third round loss to Slovakian 17th seed Daniela Hantuchova.

The seven-time Grand Slam winner went down 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) to Hantuchova after failing to find her rhythm in a rain-interrupted match.

It was former world number five Hantuchova's first win over Williams in four attempts and sets up the 22-year-old for a fourth round meeting with Russian fourth seed Maria Sharapova.

Williams, the 13th seed who had faced pre-tournament jibes about her fitness, joins sister Venus in catching an early plane home from Melbourne Park.

Venus was knocked out in the first round.

The 24-year-old Serena saved three match points to take the second set to a tie break, only to lose the decider.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 16:57 IST