Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Serena falls to No. 56 Makarova

MELBOURNE, Australia — Five-time champion Serena Williams lost at the Australian Open today for the first time since 2008, struggling with her serve and unforced errors during a 6-2, 6-3 setback against No. 56-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.

Williams was surprised by the power of the groundstrokes from Makarova, the lowest-ranked player to make the fourth round of the season's first major.

"I don't know what to say. Amazing feeling," the 23-year-old Makarova said.

Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam winner, had seven double faults — including four in one game in the second set — and 37 unforced errors, once saying to herself: "How many double-faults do you want to make?"

Williams sprained her left ankle in a warmup tournament at Brisbane two weeks ago, but didn't seem restricted today.

In an earlier match, down four match points and hobbling on an injured left ankle, defending champion Kim Clijsters rallied to a 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 win over Li Na.

Roger Federer ended the run of Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals for a 31st consecutive major.

Clijsters twisted her ankle in the seventh game, but Li failed to serve out the fourth-round match at 5-4 in the second set. Li led 6-2 in the tiebreaker, but Clijsters refused to yield.

"I said in my mind, keep fighting," Clijsters said. "You never know what happens on the other side of the court."

Li's best chance to win the match, and gain revenge for her three-set loss in last year's final, came on her fourth match point. Clijsters hit a poor drop shot, giving Li an open court. Instead, Li hit the ball almost straight to Clijsters, whose lob dropped in.

"Of course I was nervous," Li said. "If you're nervous, you could not think too much, right?"

Clijsters took the tiebreaker and the first four games of the deciding set. She will play top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Jelena Jankovic 6-0, 7-5.

Andy Murray led 6-1, 6-1, 1-0 when Mikhail Kukushkin retired from their fourth-round match with a left hip injury.

Comments
Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Fans react while watching outside Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The Bolts lost 4-0. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | TimesTampa Bay Lightn...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 4 hours ago