Pliskova eliminates Williams in Melbourne

Literally, I've never seen anything like it. I think she maybe got little bit, I don't, for sure it was in her head. She grew up without many black dolls to play with and wanted to make sure her daughter, Alexis Olympia, has one.

For someone who has played the game to an astonishingly high level for more than two decades, to regard playing injured against an opponent of Pliskova's ability as no "big deal", leaves more questions than it answers.

"My mind was in the locker room".

"I took my chances and won".

A focused Osaka brutally swept past Ukraine's Svitolina, who was troubled by neck and shoulder problems, in her attempt to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

She said she has had to temper her expectations.

One day I went to my mum's house and she was reading a book by an author I consider a rival of mine - we both write similar books, but she is "bestselling" while I'm still considered to be a moderate-selling writer.

"That's the only explanation I can found right now but I haven't talked to her yet about that". But that was the last time she showed any interest. "I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater". During the ensuing point Wednesday, Williams twisted her left ankle and dumped a forehand into the net.

Serena Williams is a better player than 2018, claimed her coach Patrick Mouratoglou at the Australian Open after the American player's win over Simona Halep.

But the nuggety Romanian isn't world number one for nothing and she bounced back to set up a huge power struggle that Williams finally won with a break in the seventh game of the third set.

Blown away in the first set before battling back impressively to force a decider, Halep remained upbeat despite slipping to a ninth defeat to Williams in their past 10 meetings. Serena squandered six match points in the third set of her quarterfinal against Monica Seles at the LA Women's Tennis Championships in 2001, going on to lose 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (2). She again had three match points on the Czech player's serve at 5-3 but was unable to take advantage.

In the end, Pliskova saved four match points and was clinical when presented her own chance to advance.

Williams rebounded in the second before imploding in the decider.

However, Serena got the better of her counterpart Halep 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Williams' surprising loss scuttled a much-anticipated rematch after her loss to Osaka in the chaotic U.S. Open final last September. Williams ended up losing to Osaka in the controversial final.

  • Julie Sanders