Serena Williams had not been showing her usual dominating form right from the onset of the Western and Southern Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. Meanwhile, Andy Murray had an impressive start but fell short against Milos Raonic in the round-of-16.
Greek player Maria Sakkari bested Williams after coming from a set and a break down. The third round match ended 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-1. The American admitted that she has no excuses for her loss. "It was hard, but I had so many opportunities to win, and I have to figure that one out, like how to start winning those matches again," she said, as quoted by the BBC.
Sakkari meanwhile, is happy to have advanced past the superstar. "I'm kind of proud of myself that I came through that match just because of my mentality and my fighting spirit," said the 25-year-old.
Third seed Williams had been hoping for a good result at the Western and Southern Open, as she prepares to attempt to snatch her 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open. The event will be played at the same venue beginning on August 31.
Elsewhere in the competition, Andy Murray also bowed out against Milos Raonic in the round-of-16. He had been playing a promising tournament especially after beating Alexander Zverev in the previous round. However, Murray could not keep his form up against Raonic, who eventually prevailed 6-2 6-2. Despite the loss, it was still an impressive event for Murray. Now ranked all the way back at 134, the former Wimbledon Champion is happy to be back in top level competition after thinking his career was over in January 2019. He has since recovered from a hip surgery and is slowly but surely fighting his way back up the ranks.
British number one Johanna Konta is now the only Brit left in the competition. She will be facing Sakkari in the next round.
The Western and Southern Open is acting as a preview of the upcoming US open. both events are being played in a secure bubble in New York, in an effort to mitigate a possible coronavirus outbreak.