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Serena Williams loses at Aussie Open after foot fault on match point

The Washington Post

Another Serena Williams appearance at a Grand Slam event, another notable moment of officiating as she lost in memorable fashion. This time, the former world No. 1 didn’t explode in anger at an umpire, as she did in losing to Naomi Osaka in September’s U.S. Open final, but an ill-timed foot fault Wednesday in the Australian Open quarterfinals set the stage for a stunning loss to Karolina Pliskova.

An ankle injury in the third set likely had more to do with Williams’s defeat, in which she blew a 5-1 lead in that final frame to fall, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. However, that injury came immediately after Williams was called for a foot fault while serving on a match point, raising anew questions about whether she is getting the deference that some think should be accorded a player of her stature.

As it was, the 37-year-old Williams will have to wait at least until the French Open in late May to try again to tie Margaret Court’s mark of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, a record for women and men. The former world No. 1, seeded 16th in Australia after an up-and-down 2018 season in which she made her way back from an extremely difficult childbirth, failed to convert four match points while falling to the seventh-seeded Pliskova.

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