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23 Jan, 2019 10:50

‘She was robbed!’: Serena Williams fans blame umpire for quarterfinal loss at Australian Open

‘She was robbed!’: Serena Williams fans blame umpire for quarterfinal loss at Australian Open

Devoted Serena Williams fans have lambasted the umpire in charge of her Australian Open quarterfinal defeat against Karolina Pliskova, accusing him of "stealing" victory from the US star.

Serving for the match at 5-1 up in the third set, Williams was called for a foot fault.

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Being denied an ace for illegal placement of her feet on the baseline, Williams then twisted her left ankle, receiving an injury which apparently affected her game afterwards.

The holder of the most feared serve in women’s tennis surprisingly wasted her sizable lead, including four match points, losing six games in a row to end her victorious run in Melbourne.

The 37-year-old American was defeated in three sets 4-6 6-4 5-7, failing to set up a rematch with Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who beat her in last year's controversial US Open final.

Frustrated by their idol’s unexpected loss, some Williams fans quickly found a reason for her collapse from a match-winning position, accusing the linesman and umpire of "robbing" the former world number one of victory.

You can’t call a foot fault at that stage of the match if you haven’t been consistent with the call entire the match [sic]. Her opponent started walking to the net. Williams was robbed!” one fan fumed on Twitter.

Others insisted that the referee was correct to call a foot fault adding that rules should be applied equally to all the players, including the 23-Grand-Slam winner.

Williams herself praised her Czech opponent, stressing that her twisted ankle didn’t have much impact on her unexpected loss.

I don’t think it had anything to do with my ankle, per se,” she added. “I just think she was just nailing and hitting shots,” Williams said graciously after the match.