Serena Williams stunned in Melbourne as she crashes out of Australian Open at the hands of Wang Qiang

Williams is still searching for the record-equalling 24th Grand Slam (PA Images)
Williams is still searching for the record-equalling 24th Grand Slam (PA Images)
7:46am, Fri 24 Jan 2020
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Serena Williams has been dramatically dumped out of the Australian Open at the third round stage after losing 4-6 7-6 (2) 5-7 to China's Wang Qiang.

The American was searching for an eighth title in Melbourne and 24th Grand Slam, a feat that would move her level with Margaret Court on the all-time list.

But it wasn't to be as Qiang finally took her third match point to book her place in the fourth round for the first time in her career.

It was also the first time since 2006 that Williams has been knocked out of the Australian Open before the fourth round.

She said afterwards: "I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today. I didn't hit any of those shots in New York or in general in a really long time.

"I'm definitely going to be training tomorrow. That's first and foremost, to make sure I don't do this again."

Court's record is still very much in her mind, however, and she still believes she can beat it.

"I definitely do believe or I wouldn't be on tour," she said. "I don't play just to have fun. To lose is really not fun."

After a first set which saw four break points go begging between the two players, Qiang crucially broke in the tenth game to take a shock lead.

Williams was then broken again in the second set and Qiang had the chance to serve for the match at 5-3, but failed to close it out as the 23-time Slam champion dug deep to force it to a tie-break.

A dominant display at the end of the second set sent the match to a decider, with very few opportunities on each other's serve throughout the third.

But it was Qiang who managed to force the upset in the 12th game to spring the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.

The 27th seed will now play Ons Jabeur, the woman who knocked out Britain's Johanna Konta in the first round, for a place in the quarter-finals.

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