Serena stunned by Makarova at Australian Open

By Ian Ransom, Reuters

Posted at Jan 23 2012 02:21 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2012 10:21 PM

MELBOURNE -- Serena Williams was bundled out of the Australian Open on Monday, losing her fourth-round match to Russian world number 56 Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-3 on a scorching day at Rod Laver Arena.

The 13-times grand slam champion was a picture of torment throughout, serving up seven double-faults and spraying 37 unforced errors to lose the match in 82 minutes.

Makarova, the lowest-ranked player to reach the last 16, absorbed Williams's firepower and returned it with interest, firing several sweetly struck winners on important points.

Williams saved three match points on serve, but pushed a backhand wide on the fourth to end the American's bid for a sixth title at Melbourne Park.

"I don't know what to say, it's an amazing feeling," Makarova said in a courtside interview.

"I'm really happy that I finsihed in my way ... It's an unbelievable feeling I don't know what to say."

Makarova's win snapped a 17-match winning streak at Melbourne Park for Williams, who won the 2009-10 titles, but missed last year's tournament due to injury.

Williams's last defeat at the Australian Open was by Jelena Jankovic, who beat her in the quarter-finals in 2008.

The win secured the Russian her first grand slam quarter-final, where she will face either compatriot Maria Sharapova or Germany's Sabine Lisicki, who play in the evening match.