23 Jan 2012

Serena bows out in Melbourne

8:18 pm on 23 January 2012

The American tennis great Serena Williams has been knocked out of the Australian Open in a shock straight sets defeat to an unseeded Russian.

Ekaterina Makarova inflicted the first defeat on the five-time champion in Melbourne since 2008, winning 6-2 6-3 in their fourth round clash.

Williams was despondent afterwards, pointing out her 37 unforced errors and seven double faults as the culprit, while praising Makarova for playing really well.

She also slated her own poor movement and almost described her service games as being like a blind person - before she realised that would be "not appropriate".

Makarova next plays the winner of tonight's opening match on centre court between another Russian, Maria Sharapova, and Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova outlasted Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in straight sets, the Czech booking a quarter-final clash with Sara Errani after the Italian beat Auckland champion Zheng Jie of China 6-2 6-1.