By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
The Australian Open, which began on January 13 this year and will end on January 26, is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. Superstars Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams fell in upset losses this weekend, stunning tennis fans as the competition entered the quarterfinals.
No. 1 Williams, who is a five-time champion, was suffering from a back injury received during practice between the 2nd and 3rd rounds. She admits she almost pulled out of her third-round match against Daniela Hantuchova on Friday, but said, “I’m such a competitor. I mean, I probably should have.” Her fourth-round loss to Ana Ivanovic on Sunday afternoon ended her 25-match winning streak and came as a real shocker.
As for third-seeded Sharapova, she lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round. Azarenka is not discouraged, however, explaining, “For me it’s important to just keep focusing on my game. Quarter-finals of a Grand Slam are never easy, no matter who you play.”
Among the male competitors, sixth-seeded Roger Federer reached his 41st Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal also moved forward, beating Kei Nishikori of Japan 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3).
Images courtesy of Australian Open Facebook.