Lawn Tennis
Venus Williams Falls In Australian Open Quarterfinals
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:40pm CST USA
Venus Williams Falls In Australian
 Open Quarterfinals, 
Ana Ivanovic, Australian Open Women's Quarterfinals, Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic
Photo by Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images
Melbourne--( 8th seeded Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the USA looked out of sorts at times in the women's quarterfinals Wednesday at the Australian Open; offering error-prone play with a mix of winners and missed chances to fall 7-6(7-3), 6-4 to 4th seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in one hour and fourty-six minutes.

In their previous meeting, Williams had defeated Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2 at last year's US Open, but today Williams committed 35 unforced errors to only 14 winners.

"She played well and hit a lot of good shots... so I give her a lot of credit," Williams said. "I have nobody to blame but myself."

Playing with a heavily wrapped hamstring, Williams' movement appeared early on to be on par with her normal outstanding abilities, but Williams, the fastest server of the WTA Tour, failed to hold her serve at all to start the encounter and fell behind 0-2 and then 2-4 in set one. Williams held to pull even at five all before netting an overhead to trail 5-6.

After holding her serve at love to reach six all, Williams' game unraveled as she committed six unforced errors in the tiebreaker including a netted backhand swinging volley on set point number two. Only three of her fourteen second service points had been won by Williams.

Although fighting the extreme consistency from Ivanovic as well as fighting her own errors, Williams to start set two made many of the shots she'd missed in set one, and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Ivanovic stepped up her own play at this point to rattle off three games in a row to reach three all.

Taking advantage of several of her speedy first serves, Williams held for 4-3. Ivanovic drew even once again as she delivered an ace down the tee to reach four all. Williams, struggling on serves for a large part of the day, was then unable to hold her final service game. A doublefault and two missed backhand volleys handed Ivanovic a 5-4 set two lead.

In the final game of the match, Williams would again fail to convert her chances as she lost two breakpoints. An Ivanovic ace down the tee and two Williams missed forehands completed what many felt to be a major upset even though Ivanovic was seeded four and Williams eight.

"She played well and hit a lot of good shots... so I give her a lot of credit," Williams said. "I have nobody to blame but myself."

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