Serena Williams harshly criticizes her play after Australian Open upset: 'That's unprofessional'



Serena Williams’ search for her 24th Grand Slam victory continues.

After fighting back to force a third set of her third-round match against Wang Qiang in the Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne, she ultimately lost. Want played a fantastic final set against the GOAT before winning the whole thing, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5, and handing Williams her earliest Aussie Open exit in 14 years.

The two-hour and 41- minute match was the longest one Serena has played in since returning to tennis after giving birth in September of 2017, according to ESPN, and it was the total opposite of the last time these two played. At the U.S. Open last year, Williams crushed Wang, 6-1, 6-0, in just 44 minutes.

While 38-year-old Serena gave credit to 28-year-old Wang for out-playing her, she didn’t shy away from criticizing her own performance. But she also said Wang played “a little different” than the last time they faced off.

“I was optimistic that I would be able to win,” she said after the match about forcing the third set. “I thought, ‘OK, now finish this off.’ I honestly didn’t think I was going to lose that match.”

Williams was particularly critical about all the mistakes she made, finishing with 27 unforced errors compared with Wang’s 20. About that, she said: “I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today.”

And she continued criticizing herself while still explaining that she believes a record-tying 24th Grand Slam victory is still within reach. Her last major win was at the 2017 Australian Open, which she did while pregnant.

She continued:

“I definitely do believe [I can win another Grand Slam] or I wouldn’t be on tour. I don’t play just to have fun and to lose is really not fun to play to lose, personally. I seem to do well at the last two slams of the year. I’ve won them all several times so each one definitely is an opportunity for me to go out there and win. It’s not even about the slams. It’s about just me playing good tennis, and I didn’t do that today. And that is more disappointing. So it’s not even about the win. It’s just more about I’m better than that. …

“[Wang] served well. I didn’t return like Serena. Honestly, if we were just honest with ourselves, it’s all on my shoulders. I lost that match, so it is what it is. Like I said, it’s not about the tournament. It’s just like, I can’t play like that. I literally can’t do that again. That’s unprofessional, and it’s not cool.”

Since her return in 2018 after nearly dying after giving birth, Serena has reached four Grand Slam finals but lost them all. Most recently, she lost to Simona Halep at Wimbledon and then Bianca Andreescu at the U.S. Open.

However, coming into the Aussie Open, she did win the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this month. Though not a Grand Slam, it was her first tournament win since having a baby.

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Via OverwatchWire


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