Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ivanovic proves Serena isn't invincible after all

Ana Ivanovic is pumped up in the midst of her stunning comeback victory.

Getty Images

Ana Ivanovic is pumped up in the midst of her stunning comeback victory.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams' long winning streak came to an end in an upset 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 loss to Ana Ivanovic today in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

"It's amazing," Ivanovic said. "Honestly, I went on the court and I just wanted to play the best I could. I'm so thrilled."

Williams, the world No. 1, hadn't lost a match since August, which was one of only four defeats in 2013, and she came into the fourth round with 25 straight wins. It was her 70th match at Melbourne Park, a record in the Open era, and she set the mark for match wins ever at the Australian Open with her third-round victory.

Williams, 32, was well short of her best at Rod Laver Arena. After the match, she acknowledged she was battling a back injury and had considered pulling out of the tournament, though she stressed several times that that wasn't the reason she lost and credited Ivanovic's play.

Ivanovic hadn't taken a set off Williams in their previous four matches. Since her French Open win in 2008, the former world No. 1 has not even reached a Grand Slam semifinal. This is only her second quarterfinal in a Slam since then (2012 U.S. Open).

The Serb was able to threaten Williams' usually impregnable serve from the outset. She fashioned four break points in the opening set, converting one, but was broken twice as Williams edged it out.

Ivanovic took over from that point, her once fragile serve holding up well as Williams appeared to struggle with her movement, and she did not face another break point.

Williams was warned for a time violation when serving to stay in the match and managed to save two match points, but Ivanovic closed it out with a love hold after 1 hour and 56 minutes.

"I was very consistent," Ivanovic said. "It's not easy playing such a champion, but she's also just a human, and I know she has lots of pressure, too.

"I just went out there swinging, and I think I did that really well."

The other quarterfinal features two women who turn 32 next month, with two-time finalist Li Na wrapping up a fourth-round win over No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova in less than an hour to set up a match against Flavia Pennetta.

The 2011 French Open champion broke Makarova's serve five times and fended off four break points on her own serve during a 59-minute, 6-2, 6-0 win to reach the quarterfinals here for the fourth time in five years.

Pennetta's late-career revival continued as she reached her first Australian quarterfinal with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany.

The 28th-seeded Pennetta has played some of her best tennis since returning last February from a wrist injury that caused her ranking to drop as low as No. 166.

On the men's side, three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic was set to take on Italian Fabio Fognini for a place in the quarterfinals. Djokovic was attempting to make his 19th consecutive appearance in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.

Ivanovic proves Serena isn't invincible after all 01/18/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 19, 2014 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  2. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener


    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

  3. Bears-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 2: When was it over?


    Well, that escalated quickly.

    One moment, the Bears were dinking and dunking their way down the field. The next, they were giving the ball away. In a six-minute stretch over the first and second quarters, they turned the ball over three times. Interception. Fumble. Fumble.

    Jacquizz Rodgers scores a touchdown Sunday in the Bucs' 29-7 win over the Bears in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  4. Bucs journal: At end of first half, a push for more points pays off


    TAMPA — The Bucs weren't perfect on offense in Sunday's 29-7 win over the Bears, but they came close on one play to set up a 50-yard field goal before halftime.

    Jameis Winston’s 21-yard completion to DeSean Jackson was the Bucs’ longest offensive play in Sunday’s victory over the Bears.
  5. After loss to Bucs, Bears stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback


    LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Bears coach John Fox said Monday the Bears will stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback after the former Buc struggled in Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay.