Serena Williams staggered by China’s Qiang Wang at the Australian Open on Friday
Serena Wiliams’ quest for a 24th grand slam stays a work in progress after the US star was shocked by China’s Qiang Wang at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Friday.
The 28-year-old from the Chinese port city of Tianjin was the No. 27 seed going to the competition, yet edged past Williams 6-4 6 7-5 and will presently play Tunisian national Ons Jabeur in the fourth round.
The exit of the 23-time grand slam victor denotes the first time Williams has failed to progress past the third round at Melbourne Park since 2006.
Williams’ certainty was high after the American claimed her first title in three years in Auckland in front of the Australian Open, let her wait to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 slams – and to win her first major since the 2017 – goes on.
“I made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today,” Williams, who made 56 unforced errors to Wang’s 20, told reporters after the match.
“I can’t play like that. I literally can’t do that again, that’s unprofessional and it’s not cool.”
Williams’ defeat was even more surprising given she’d beaten Wang 6-1 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the US Open a year ago when the Chinese player won only 15 points.
Williams’ last grand slam title came at the 2017 Australian Open while she was pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia.
The 38-year-old has fallen in four finals from that point forward, yet said after her most recent setback that she is sure she can come back to winning ways at majors.
“I don’t play just to have fun and to lose, it’s not fun to play to lose personally,” she said.
“I seem to do well at the last two slams of the year (Wimbledon and the US Open). I’ve won them all several times so each of them is an opportunity for me to go out there and win.
“It’s not even about the slams, it’s about me playing good tennis and I didn’t do that today. That is more disappointing. It’s not even just about the win, it’s more (that) I’m better than that.”