Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Australian Open: Title favorite Serena Williams shocked by Ana Ivanovic

January 19, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Serena Williams had been tipped to win all four grand slams in the 2014 season but falls at the first of them in Australia.
Serena Williams had been tipped to win all four grand slams in the 2014 season but falls at the first of them in Australia.
  • Serena Williams out of the Australian Open after fourth round defeat
  • Serbian Ana Ivanovic beats American world No.1 4-6 6-3 6-3
  • Williams blames her loss on a "tremendous amount of errors"
  • In the men's draw, Novak Djokovic sets up quarterfinal against old foe Stanislas Wawrinka

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- The heatwave may have passed at the Australian Open but in its place came shockwaves as women's title favourite Serena Williams crashed out.

The American world No.1 melted under pressure from resurgent Serbian Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round Sunday.

Williams, who was chasing a sixth Australian Open crown and an 18th career grand slam, blamed the shock 6-4 3-6 3-6 defeat on an error-strewn display.

"I made a tremendous amount of errors, shots I missed I normally don't miss, I haven't missed since the Eighties," Williams told reporters. "I'm just not used to missing those shots.

"I just made way, way, a lot of unforced errors.

"I know for a fact I can play so much better than what I did today, so with that, knowing that, I'm not disappointed or anything. I just know that I can play ten times better."

Williams refused to blame a back injury for her defeat although the 32-year-old did reveal that she had considered quitting the opening grand slam of the year before her match against Ivanovic.

Serena Williams' inner circle
Ivanovic targets more French titles
Who will be the tennis ace of 2014?

"I almost pulled out," explained Williams, who last lost a match in August. "I'm such a competitor. I mean, I probably should have.

"Maybe I wasn't the best physically, but that had nothing to do with it. I don't want to blame anything.

"I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel she played unbelievable today. "

Victory for Ivanovic is a major boost for the 2008 French Open champion who is trying to get her career back on track after several seasons plagued by big-match nerves, serving troubles and a series of injuries.

The 26-year-old told CNN's Open Court last month that she had effectively pressed the re-set button ahead of the 2014 season, swapping British coach Nigel Sears for new coach and hitting partner Nemanja Kontic.

"I've been working really hard," said Ivanovic, who last reached a grand slam quarterfinal at the 2012 U.S Open. "I have a new team with me since Wimbledon and it's a Serbian team for me for the first time."

The restructure appears to be working as Ivanovic won a warm-up tournament in Auckland -- incidentally beating Venus Williams -- before notching up her first-ever win over Williams' younger sister Serena.

Asked by reporters in Melbourne what the difference was between this match and her previous encounters with Williams, she said: "Well, I actually believed. I had some confidence coming into today's match.

"This victory means so much to me. All the hard work, it's paying off.

"I had very tough fourth round matches in a grand slam, and this was probably the toughest of tough. I just went out there to play. I had nothing to lose.

"To have that victory, you know, it's amazing. We all know what kind of champion she is."

Ivanovic goes on to meet Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals and, after her giant-slaying performance against Williams, the Serbian 14th seed might just feel she has a chance of going all the way.

Novak Djokovic wins the ATP World Tour final
A workout with David Ferrer

In the men's draw, Ivanovic's childhood friend Novak Djovkovic eased into the quarterfinals with a straightforward 6-3 6-0 6-2 win over another close pal Italian Fabio Fognini.

Djokovic, who said he had managed to watch two sets of Ivanovic's match before taking to the court, faces Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka next, who took him to five sets in the fourth round of last year's Aussie Open.

"I have to be ready to play another 12-10 in the fifth like last year," Djokovic said. "I know that he's playing the tennis of his life in the last 15 months.

"You cannot expect a clear favorite in that match."

In the same half of the draw, Czech Tomas Berdych also advanced to the quarterfinals where he meets Spanish third seed David Ferrer.

Read: Ana Ivanovic searches for winning formula

Read: The man who saved Serena

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.