Venus and Serena Williams, perhaps the most dominant women’s double tandem in tennis history, did not overcome some uncharacteristic errors and lost to the Italian tandem of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Monday night.
It was a shocking result for the duo that had won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles.
So out-of-the-norm was their effort that one of Venus Williams’ shots from the baseline hit her sister, Serena, in the back.
Serena shook it off, but they never regained their rhythm after winning the first set with relative ease.
In particular, older sister Venus Williams had some crucial errors at pivotal times, including two double faults before losing her service game to give the Italians a 6-5 edge in the third set.
Errani served out the 2-hour, 36-minute match without dropping a point; Venus’ return went into the net on the decisive point.
“We don’t think she played bad,” Errani said about Venus at a post-match news conference. “Maybe she made some mistakes in the last few games. But that’s pressure and it’s normal at that stage.”
“It shows they’re human,” she added.