Serena blames 'disastrous service' for shock defeat
By AFP | Posted 24-Jan-2012
Serena blames 'disastrous service' for shock defeat to World No 56 Makarova
Five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams called her shock fourth-round defeat "disastrous" on Monday -- and said she would have served better left-handed.
Disappointed: USA's Serena Williams looks dejected during yesterday's Australian Open match against Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
The 6-2, 6-3 loss to 56th-ranked Russian Ekaterina Makarova was one of Williams' worst at a grand slam, second only to her defeat at the hands of fellow American Jill Craybas in the third round at Wimbledon in 2005.
Russian beauty Maria Sharapova serves to Germany's Sabine Lisicki. Pics/AFP
The 30-year-old made 37 unforced errors and sent down seven double-faults as she was broken five times overall, ending a 17-match unbeaten streak at Melbourne Park stretching back to 2009. "I served, I don't know. I can't even describe how I served to be honest," she said. "It wasn't good, though. My lefty serve is actually better than that. Maybe I should have started serving lefty... I just did not serve well. It was just disastrous really."
Williams injured her right ankle in Brisbane this month, but she refused to blame the injury, or the hot weather, for her listless display, although she did admit movement was difficult and she was "not 100 percent".
"You know what, I never blame any injury that I have because I feel like she played really well and she deserved the win today," Williams added.
Sharapova advances Makarova will face compatriot Maria Sharapova, who beat Germany's Sabine Lisicki 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarter-final.
The 24-year-old has now reached the quarter-finals or better in Melbourne five times, but this is the first time she has progressed so far since being crowned champion four years ago.
Meanwhile, Czech Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova reached the quarters with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) win over Serbia's Ana Ivanovic.