Saturday, August 18, 2012
Serena Williams lost to Angelique Kerber 64 64 at the Western & Southern Open quarterfinals while her sister, Venus, upset Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4.
Serena flung her racket at the ground, picked it up and slammed it on the court again as the second set slipped away.
"I probably need a break," she said after the match.
Serena came into the match with a 64-4 record in the summer hard-court season over the last two years. Against Kerber, her game fell apart.
She missed so many easy shots that after she hit an overhead that landed in the court, she smiled and raised her arms in mock triumph.
Her sister thinks the last few weeks have caught up with her.
"She's played so many matches since Wimbledon," Venus Williams said. "I don't think anyone has played as many matches and played as successfully as her.
"I think some rest is in order for her."
Serena agreed she needs a little time to get recharged for the U.S. Open.
"I'll be better in New York, I promise," she said.
Kerber was just too solid and converted both of her break point opportunities.
"Today was one of the biggest wins of my career, and it's also amazing to be in the semis here," Kerber said. "I wasn't thinking about my opponent on the other side. My goal was just to give my best and hit the ball, move very well and get the balls back from her because they are so fast. I really had nothing to lose.
"I just tried to do my game plan and it worked."
"Because Serena won Wimbledon, she won the Olympics, I mean, she won everything," Kerber replied. "She was the favorite, not me. It also feels better to tell yourself you have nothing to lose than you need to win. So I like it better."
Serena had good words about her opponent and wants the revenge at the US Open.
"I felt really good going out there today, much better than my other two matches here - false alarm," she said. "But she played really well today. She's getting a lot of balls back. I think she served more up the T than I expected. I really hope I can play her again in New York - I'll try to be ready for that one."
Williams will stick around to watch sister Venus' semifinal, however. "I'm a great cheerleader," she said. "I'll be happy to watch her and cheer for her. She's doing really well. She's playing much better than I am, moving better, serving well, moving up to short balls, hitting well - everything she's doing is great.
"I thought I was inspired, but I couldn't transfer it over to my game."
Venus raised both arms and jumped after winning a three-setter for the third time in the tournament, an indication she's learning to manage an immune system disorder that leaves her tired.
She'll play Li Na in the semifinals.
"For me and everything that's gone on in my life, it's a huge achievement and I want to take it further," Venus said.
"She played very well - I have to give her credit for that," Williams said. "In tie-breakers you just have to play one point at a time, and today I let it get away from me. Once that happens, you just have to move on. That's pretty much it. And that's why there's three sets in tennis - it had to be decided in the third.
"I didn't realize I was going to be that excited when I won. Of course under the circumstances, serving it out 6-4 in the third, it was very exciting."
"In a lot of my quarterfinals I fell short and couldn't play my best," Williams said. "I'd like to think this is only the beginning for me of more semifinals. Of course I'm going to stay focused and try to make it a final as well. I'd like to take it a lot further. But I haven't played a lot since 2010 - this is awesome for me already."
"My whole goal on the court is to stay positive, and no matter what shot I hit, even if I'm a little disappointed after the shot, I try to regroup and stay positive," she added. "That's the name to winning matches. You can't be down on yourself during a match and have your opponent trying to take you down, too. It's just too much."
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