One of the favorites for the title, sixth seed Venus Williams, lost as early as in the second round of the Australian Open, being beaten by world No.46 Carla Suarez Navarro.
The Spaniard saved a match point before beating Williams 2-6 6-3 7-5, who is yet to add an Australian Open trophy to her collection of Grand Slam titles. Suarez Navarro is playing only her fourth Grand Slam event, but she already has one notable results, the quarterfinals at last year’s French Open.
Venus started the third set strong, taking a 4-1 lead, but Suarez Navarro dragged herself back into it and saved herself on match point at 5-5. She then broke the next game and served out for a famous victory.
Second seed Serena Williams was extremely close to losing the second set, but the three-time Australian Open champion eventually defeated Argentine Gisela Dulko in straight sets 6-3 7-5.
Dulko wasted six set points and saved five break points before Serena won the game, then held her own serve to even the set at 5-5. Serena then broke again, after another long game featuring six deuces, before holding her serve to win the match with an ace.
Although Dulko was having a 5-2 lead in the second set, and although she had those six set points, Serena was calm, as if she had known she was going to win. Serena confirmed my impression by saying: “She had a couple of opportunities but I always felt I wasn’t going to lose.”
Except for Venus Williams and seed No.14 Patty Schnyder, all the seeds were victorious on day 4.