Serena Williams’ run at the Australian Open ended in defeat on Wednesday, after the tournament saw its biggest upset by American teenager Sloane Stephens. But although Williams is now officially out of the running, she did not fail to bring a theatrical close to the event, smashing her tennis racket on the court during the third set in a display of fury.
In a violent display of her frustration that has become characteristic trait of Williams' playing, she pummeled her racket onto the ground after returning a ball into the alley, breaking it and then tossing it to the ground.
Stephens defeated the tennis veteran 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the quarter-finals, in a grand slam breakthrough that shocked spectators as well as herself. Williams was viewed as a favorite when she entered the tournament, but has been plagued by a series of back and other injuries, that gradually slowed her down.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Williams called the tournament her “absolute” worst in terms of injuries.
“Everyone at this stage in the locker room has something wrong with them. It's no excuse," she said. "I went for this drop shot and it just locked up on me. I couldn't really rotate after that.
"It was a little painful, but it's OK,” she added.
"I was stretching, and I was like,'I'm in the semis of a Grand Slam.' I was like, 'Whoa. It wasn't as hard as I thought,"' Stephens told Reuters of her initial reaction to winning. "To be in the semis of a Grand Slam is definitely a good accomplishment. A lot of hard work."
"Oh my goodness," she added. "I'm sure my grandparents are freaking out. I'm sure they're watching on the computer."
Stephens will next do battle with defending champion Victoria Azarenka in tomorrow's semi-finals.
View the video below of Williams losing her temper on the court.