Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Serena Suffers Shock Defeat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Serena Suffers Shock Defeat

Article excerpt

Defending champion Serena Williams cut a frustrated figure after being dumped out of the Australian Open by Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets.

It was the 17th seed's first victory over Williams and provided the biggest shock of the day.

"I just couldn't find my shots," said Williams, who followed sister Venus out of the tournament.

"Everything I was trying just wasn't working. I was really set and very ready to play ( I just made a lot of errors."

Hantuchova, from Slovakia, proved too powerful for the reigning champion, taking out the match in a tie-breaker in the second set to win 6-1 7-6 (7-5). "I always believe in myself," she said.

"The way to get there is just keep working hard and keep fighting for every point and you never know what's going to happen."

Top seed Lindsay Davenport accepts she needs to find more consistency in her game after an "up and down" performance saw her beat a determined Maria Kirilenko in three sets.

The American committed 42 unforced errors in the match, twice as many as her opponent, but the world number one exploited Kirilenko's weak second serve to progress 6-4 4-6 6-2.

"I felt like I was making a lot of errors but I felt like I was doing well to control the points in the first set," said Davenport.

"Then in the second set I really just kind of fell apart with making way too many errors. I do feel like the third set I really was able to turn it around and play really well. So I'm happy I ended the match on a positive note."

Davenport will now meet another Russian, 14th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Italian Mara Santangelo in straight sets.

Russians dominated again on day five as fourth seed Maria Sharapova barely broke a sweat in getting past Croatian Jelena Kostanic, breaking in the first game and never looking back on her way to a 6-0 6-1 victory. …

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