When Serena Williams loses a match, the media usually turns it into a conversation about what went wrong with Serena rather than what the triumphant opponent did right. That’s probably because Serena is by far the best female player in the world and expected to win every event she enters. But Serena was upset by Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and her boyfriend/coach Patrick Mouratouglou revealed to the media that Serena was limited by a back injury.
Serena seemed like she didn’t want anyone finding out about the back injury, and she playfully called out Mouratouglou for “snitching” about her bad back. She admitted she took painkillers and contemplated not playing in the match, but she tried to go through it and said she felt good about the way she played.
“I almost pulled out. I probably should have,” Serena said when asked about her back. “I don’t want to blame anything. I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel like she played unbelievable today. It’s not like I gave her the match; I tried to fight with the best I could today. I almost didn’t play, but I did and at least I feel good that I tried the best I could on this day.”
Williams was complimentary of Ivanovic and wanted to emphasize that her opponent played well and that nothing should detract from that. She made every attempt to deflect the focus from her back to Ivanovic’s good play.
“Yeah it’s OK,” Williams said of her back. “It wasn’t the best, but I thought she played really well.
“Maybe I wasn’t the best physically, but that had nothing to do with it. I think Ana just played a really good match. She did what it takes to win. I’m not going to make excuses.”
Serena was down on herself for missing so many shots and making so many errors, but she had a positive outlook despite the loss.
“I know for a fact that I can play so much better than I did today. Knowing that, I’m not disappointed in anything.”
She also said the loss will help show her what she needs to work on in practice.
As for Ivanovic, well, she took the second set of the match to claim her first set ever against Serena. Then she got up a break in the third and held on for the win, which marked just the sixth time Serena has lost in a major after winning the first set. She dominated Serena in the final two sets and played extremely well. She really shined with her service returns and frequently smashed Serena’s second serves for winners.
Ivanovic moves on to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since reaching the finals there in 2008.Google+