Serena Williams just got owned. After referring to the Australian Open as “the worst two weeks,” the aching, struggling legend seemed a shadow of her old self as she was convincingly defeated by American teenager Sloane Stephens.
Stephens, all 19 years of age, defeated the five-time open champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. This was Williams’ first loss since August 17. This was her first Grand Slam tournament defeat since last year’s French Open.
The Grand Slam tournament started badly for Williams, who had injured her ankle in the opening match at Melbourne Park, and it only got worse when she injured her back in the eighth games of the second set. At one point she was even fined $1,500 for slamming her racket on the court in frustration. All in all, it led to an ultimately damaged performance against Stephens, who made sure to grab the opportunity.
Stephens, who was still stunned after defeating her idol, revealed her strategy: “When I got up, I was like, `Look, Dude, like, you can do this.' Like, `Go out and play and do your best.’” If those extra likes don’t demonstrate her age, her superior fitness in the match certainly does.
Williams, who also lost in the doubles tournament playing with her sister, summed up the proceedings nicely, stating, “Absolutely, I'm almost relieved that it's over because there's only so much I felt I could do. I've been thrown a lot of curve balls these two weeks.''
After ending Williams’ dominating run, Stephens will advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.