24 Jan 2012

Time, injury catch up with Serena Williams

6:08 am on 24 January 2012

Serena Williams has vowed to bounce back after her early exit from the Australian Tennis Open yesterday, but her shock loss to the world number 56 Ekaterina Makarova suggests time may have caught up with the most dominant player of her generation.

30-year-old Williams played only two matches in the leadup before she was struck down with an ankle injury, and she appeared listless as she went down in a hail of unforced errors to the plucky Russian.

There was a major upset in the mens draw as 22 year old Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 80 years with a five sets win over the French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

But the top seed Novak Djokovic survived a gallant challenge from Lleyton Hewitt to beat the last home hope in a four setter lasting just under three hours.

The feature matches this afternoon are between the womens top seed Caroline Wozniacki and the defending champion Kim Clijsters, and Juan Martin del Potro against Roger Federer.