Serena stunned! Williams loses to China's Wang at Australian Open as chance for 24th Grand Slam slips away AGAIN
The chance of a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam again went begging for Serena Williams as she lost to China's Wang Qiang in the third round of the Australian Open.
Williams, a seven-time champion in Melbourne, went down to Chinese number 27 seed Wang in three sets, 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 at Rod Laver Arena.
For Williams, who was seeded eighth Down Under, it means she remains stuck on 23 Grand Slam titles and again misses out on the chance to level Australian great Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24.
Williams, 38, last won a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2017, and has since lost in four consecutive finals - twice at the US Open and twice at Wimbledon.
However, this time round in Melbourne Williams failed to progress beyond the first week, being dumped out by an inspired Wang.
The moment of a LIFETIME!Qiang Wang puts on an absolute masterclass in the match of the tournament to shock Serena Williams 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 and advance to a first career #AusOpen round of 16.#AO2020pic.twitter.com/gnGkAMaU8X— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2020
Wang took the first set and served for the match at 5-4 in the second, but Williams fought back to force a tie-break, which she then won to keep herself in the match.
The last set went with serve until the 12th game when Wang secured an all-important break to seal the match and her passage to the next round.
Wang's progress comes on the eve of Chinese lunar New Year, but despite that fact the 28-year-old said she would save any celebrations until after business was over in Melbourne.
The Chinese star's best Grand Slam result to date was a run to the quarterfinals of the US Open last year - where she was crushed by Williams 6-1 6-0 - but she will fancy her chances of at least matching that when she takes on the unseeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the next round.
In an epic, @Ons_Jabeur def. Wozniacki in her last-ever match.She's through to the fourth round for the first time in her career with a 7-5 3-6 7-5 victory.#AO2020 | #AusOpenpic.twitter.com/RZBC8X671H— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2020
Jabeur ended the run of former champion Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in their third-round match, in what was the Dane's last ever appearance at a Slam.
Wozniacki's good friend Williams, however, will be left to ponder whether she will ever match Court's record Grand Slam haul after another opportunity slipped by.