Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Williams knocked out as Garcia and Pliskova advance in Ohio

Williams knocked out as Garcia and Pliskova advance in Ohio

Serena Williams was eliminated from the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, falling to eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss. Williams followed Wimbledon with her worst loss on the WTA tour, being crushed by England's Johanna Konta in just 52 minutes in San Jose a few weeks ago, 1-6, 0-6.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion produced an impressive performance in the WTA Premier 5 event, where she is a two-time victor.

Serena appeared to be in command when she broke Kvitova to start the deciding third set but the two-time Wimbledon champion elevated her service game and was defensively resolute to set up a third-round clash with Kristina Mladenovic.

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Serena Williams is just getting started.

Kvitova, who has made a remarkable comeback since being injured by a burglar in a knife attack at her home in Prostejov, Czech Republic, in late 2016, reflected afterward on her win against an all-time great opponent who is trying to get back to top form less than a year after becoming a mother and enduring serious post-partum health complications. "We are both coming back - from injury, from motherhood - so it's something really special to play her". "There was a lot of hard work in the rehab and still a lot of things to do".

Serena Williams returns to Petra Kvitova.

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After consolidating a break earned in the fifth game, Kvitova later produced a powerful cross-court forehand from a demanding angle which Williams netted to give up her serve and the set.

However, the 36-year-old remains optimistic about her return to the sport. "She's not number one like she used to be, but you can see she had a lot of tennis behind her", Garcia said afterwards.

Roger Federer began his US Open preparation with a quick 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Peter Gojowczyk in his first ATP Cincinnati Masters appearance since 2015.

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