Serena Rolls Ankle, Then Tumbles outta Aussie Open
How often do you see a foot fault called at a Slam event, much less anywhere else on the pro tour's top levels?
It happened to Serena Williams as she was up 5-1 in the third set and serving for the match.
This was the sorta call that could make a player go nuclear, and Serena well knows all about that.
What followed next, then, was weirdly different.
No losing games to anger this time.
Ironically, no reward for good conduct from the tennis gods, either:
- She rolled her ankle on the ensuing volley, which she lost; and then
- She double-faulted, surrendering a break point.
Maybe not, but that's the competitive world as we know it. Besides, Karolina Plišková isn't exactly chopped liver.
The Czech won every point after that, roaring back to earn every point after that on the way to a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory that denied Serena a record-breaking 24th Slam singles title:
Yes, Serena's the main attraction and gets featured in the highights, but Plišková did well to take advantage of her chances and seal the deal.
Now, it'll be the 7th-seeded Czech facing US Open champ Naomi Osaka in the semi-final.
Of course a Williams-Osaka rematch woulda been a huge storyline, but it'll have to wait for another day.
If that day ever comes. After all, even with two healthy ankles, Serena's now 37.