This time there were no tears, no consoling embraces, no emotional speeches, it all seemed crushingly routine. And that was the most remarkable thing of all.

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff breezed past defending champion Naomi Osaka and into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a ridiculously accomplished display on Friday.

The last time they met, at the 2019 US Open, Osaka was a 6-3 6-0 victor with the teenager's uncontrolled disappointment at the end met with compassion and grace by the Japanese.

This was no way to repay her, Gauff gaining ruthless revenge – winning 6-3 6-4 in just 67 minutes on Rod Laver Arena - to set up a clash with either Zhang Shuai or Sofia Kenin.

Osaka started well, her blazing groundstrokes threatening to overpower Gauff but the American gradually started to impose her game and, as she did, the errors started to increase from the other side of the net.

Three successive missed backhands handed Gauff a break and a 5-3 lead and, aided by two more mistakes from Osaka's backhand wing, she served it out to love.

Osaka's mental time-out continued at the start of the second, a wild forehand seeing her broken again.

But, finally, the third seed regrouped to hit back immediately and level at 1-1 and then move 2-1 up.

If there was a time for self-doubt it was now, but Gauff never wavered, her consistency from the back of the court in stark contrast to Osaka, who racked up 30 unforced errors in the match.

The majority came on the backhand and it broke down again as Gauff claimed the Osaka serve to edge 4-3 up.

Osaka did, at least, make Gauff serve it out but then handed her the win on a silver platter with another error-strewn game as the world number 67 powered through.

Serena Williams "definitely" still believes she can match Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles despite her shock Australian Open exit.

Williams, a 23-time major winner, was on the wrong end of the first big upset of the week at Melbourne Park, going down 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 to Wang Qiang in the third round on Friday.

The American great's wait for a record-equalling triumph goes on, her previous grand slam success coming at this tournament three years ago.

Williams, who has lost four major finals and given birth to her first child then, insists she would not still be playing if she was not confident of adding to her honours list.

"I definitely do believe or I wouldn't be on tour," she told reporters in Melbourne. "I don't play just to have fun. To lose is really not fun, to play to lose, personally.

"I don't know. I seemed to do well the last two slams of the year. I don't know. I have won them all several times. Each one is definitely an opportunity for me to go out there and win.

"It's not even about the slams, it's about just me playing good tennis, and I didn't do that today. That is more disappointing.

"So it's not even about the win, it's just more about I'm better than that. That is what it is for me today."

Williams turns 39 this year but sees no reason why she will not be back to challenge at the Australian Open in 2021.

"I feel like I'm on the way up, so we'll see. I don't know," she said. "I'm not even thinking about anything, about not being here."

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal paid tribute to Caroline Wozniacki after the former world number one was sent into retirement at the Australian Open.

Wozniacki's career came to an end following the Danish 29-year-old's 7-5 3-6 7-5 third-round loss to Ons Jabeur in Melbourne on Friday.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, Wozniacki announced last month that she planned to call it quits at the conclusion of the year's opening grand slam.

Afterwards, superstar ATP trio Federer, Djokovic and Nadal featured in a video message via the WTA.

"Hey Caroline, many congratulations on a most amazing career," 20-time slam winner Federer said in the video shared on Twitter. "I was so happy for you when you won the Australian Open and also world number one, that's the pinnacle of our sport and you did it all.

"I always enjoyed watching you play. You had a lot of battles. I was waiting sometimes to play and you were playing ahead of me, and your matches took forever. But that's okay, I loved watching you play.

"We'll miss you, the WTA will miss you and the ATP will miss you. I wish you all the very best for what's to come. Thank you for everything you've done for tennis."

Reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic said: "Caro, I don't know how to say goodbye to you. I know the moment is coming closer and closer for you. We've known each other for a long time. We lived in the same place for many years, so I've seen you jog on the street and walk your dogs. We developed a nice friendly relationship as well.

"You're a fantastic person. You've done so much for tennis. Your contribution is very positive to the game and the game will definitely miss you.

"I wish you and your husband David a wonderful life together. Hopefully kids on the way as well. Hope to see you. Come and watch us play and have fun."

"Hey Caroline. Well, just very sad to make this video because everybody wants to watch you play tennis," added world number one and top seed Nadal.

"You had an amazing career. I just want to congratulate you on all the things you achieved and at the same time to be nice to everyone.

"It's been great to share many great moments with you. I wish you all the very best in your personal life, happiness and health. Hope we keep seeing you around."

Serena Williams rued her errors in a shock Australian Open loss to Wang Qiang, revealing she wanted to punch a wall.

The American great fell to a surprise 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 loss to Wang Qiang on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

Williams committed 56 unforced errors to slump to her earliest Australian Open exit since 2006, while her wait for a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title goes on.

The 38-year-old said losses were still painful, but she was better at hiding her disappointment.

"I am just a better actress, as I always say now. I'm no happier than I was 10 years ago," Williams told a news conference.

"But I just have to pretend like I don't want to punch the wall, but in reality I do."

Williams lamented her errors against Wang, who was consistent throughout a battle lasting two hours, 41 minutes.

Wang was crushed 6-1 6-0 when the pair met just months ago at the US Open, but managed a stunning win in Melbourne.

"I made a lot of errors," Williams said. "I didn't hit any of those shots in New York or in general in a really long time. So that's good news.

"I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today."

Serena Williams bowed out before the fourth round of the Australian Open for just the fourth time in her illustrious career.

The 23-time grand slam champion went down to Wang Qiang in a huge upset on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

A seven-time champion in Melbourne, Williams made her earliest exit at the tournament since 2006.

We take a look at her earliest departures from the year's opening grand slam after her stunning loss to Wang.

1998, Second round: lost to Venus Williams 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

This was the first professional meeting between the Williams sisters. Venus, bound for the quarter-finals, overcame her younger sister in a head-to-head matchup she would eventually lose more often than not.

1999, Third round: lost to Sandrine Testud [14] 6-2 2-6 9-7

Only a controversial call on match point denied a 17-year-old Williams victory against Testud. Williams thought she had clinched victory in the 14th game of the third set before an overrule, and she would go on to fall to the French 14th seed.

2006, Third round: lost to Daniela Hantuchova [17] 6-1 7-6 (7-5)

On a 16-match winning streak at the Australian Open, having won the title in 2003 and 2005 and skipped 2004 due to a knee injury, Williams' run came to a surprise end against Hantuchova, left again to rue errors in a shock defeat.

2020, Third round: lost to Wang Qiang [27] 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5

Chasing a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, Williams stunningly fell to Wang, a player she had crushed 6-1 6-0 at the US Open just months earlier. However, 56 unforced errors proved to be her undoing as Wang produced a consistent display to cause an upset after two hours, 41 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Wang Qiang insisted she always felt capable of beating Serena Williams leading into her stunning Australian Open upset of the American great.

Wang, 28, produced a shock 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 third-round victory over the eighth seed on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

The loss marked Williams' earliest exit in Melbourne since 2006 and again delayed her bid to draw level with Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Wang's win was particularly remarkable given she lost 6-1 6-0 when the pair met in the US Open quarter-finals in 2019. 

"I think my team always believed I could do it," Wang told the Nine Network in an on-court interview.

"After last time, I've done a lot of hard work on the court and off the court. During the second set, I was a little bit confused. I had to be calm.

"I was a little bit confused but my mind always told me I had to focus on the court, focus on every point and trust myself."

Wang will now face Ons Jabeur for a place in the quarter-finals, the Tunisian having earlier beaten the retiring Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.

Asked if she planned to celebrate the triumph, Wang said: "Nope. Take a rest and just prepare for the next match."

Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff are among the 27th seed's potential quarter-final opponents should she get past world number 78 Jabeur.

Serena Williams suffered a shock loss to Wang Qiang in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

The American star made her earliest exit in Melbourne since 2006 with a stunning 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 defeat to Chinese 27th seed Wang on Rod Laver Arena.

Williams' bid to match Margaret Court on a record 24 grand slam singles titles will have to wait a little longer after her error-riddled display.

A seven-time Australian Open champion, Williams lost before the fourth round at the tournament for just the fourth time in her illustrious career.

Wang, meanwhile, was impressive throughout, settling early and rebounding in the third set to close out victory in two hours, 41 minutes.

Wang – crushed 6-1 6-0 when the pair met at the US Open last year – quickly settled despite Williams' pressure and saved three break points during a lengthy sixth game.

Williams looked the more likely to find a break before Wang did just that with a forehand winner to take a 5-4 lead.

A long backhand return saw Wang serve out the opening set to 15, stunning Williams.

Williams fell into a 0-40 hole in the fifth game of the second set and Wang delivered a forehand winner to take a 3-2 lead.

Struggling to find her range, Williams saved a break point in the seventh game before squandering one in the eighth.

But Williams stepped up when Wang served for the match, breaking back to 15 with a ripping forehand cross-court winner.

Williams fought back from 15-40 down in the following game before delivering in what was a tense tie-break to force a deciding set.

Wang stayed with Williams despite the second-set disappointment as they held serve, the former squandering two match points with nervous errors in the 12th game.

But she took her third chance when Williams sent a backhand into the net to fall to a stunning defeat.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Wang Qiang [27] bt Serena Williams [8] 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Wang – 25/20
Williams – 43/56

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Wang – 2/1
Williams – 8/4

BREAK POINTS WON 
Wang – 3/12
Williams – 1/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Wang – 63
Williams – 56

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Wang – 69/60
Williams – 70/50

TOTAL POINTS 
Wang – 121
Williams – 111

Caroline Wozniacki's professional career came to an end with a third-round loss to Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open on Friday.

The 2018 champion announced last month she would retire at the end of the year's opening grand slam, and her run in Melbourne came to an end in the first week.

Wozniacki went down to Jabeur 7-5 3-6 7-5 on Melbourne Arena, bringing an end to her career after a second third-round exit in as many years.

The former world number one typically fought hard before falling short against Jabeur in two hours, seven minutes.

Wozniacki came from 3-0 down in the final set but was broken in the 12th game by her Tunisian opponent.

The 29-year-old shed some tears after the curtain was brought down on a fine career.

Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber claimed comfortable second-round wins at the Australian Open as Garbine Muguruza survived a scare on Thursday.

It was a good day for the women's seeds at Melbourne Park, as 10 of the 12 in action moved into the third round.

Halep, Pliskova and Kerber were among them, while the unseeded Muguruza also progressed.

The top 10 seeds remain alive in the women's draw, with a few familiar faces shaping as contenders once more.

 

HALEP, PLISKOVA AND KERBER PROGRESS

A runner-up in Melbourne in 2018, fourth seed Halep was largely untroubled in a 6-2 6-4 win over British qualifier Harriet Dart.

The Romanian managed five breaks of serve and will meet Yulia Putintseva, who edged last year's semi-finalist Danielle Collins, scoring a 6-4 2-6 7-5 win against the 26th seed.

Pliskova has reached at least the quarter-finals at the past three Australian Opens and the Czech second seed looks like a challenger.

She had few problems in a 6-3 6-3 victory over Laura Siegemund on Rod Laver Arena.

Pliskova will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the Russian 30th seed battled past Taylor Townsend 7-5 7-6 (7-1).

Kerber, the 2016 champion, was untroubled by Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon in a 6-3 6-2 win.

MUGURUZA FIGHTS THROUGH

Two-time grand slam champion Muguruza was pushed in a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Ajla Tomljanovic.

Muguruza mixed 34 winners with 39 unforced errors, but an even bigger test awaits in the third round.

FIfth seed Elina Svitolina set up a meeting with Muguruza by overcoming American Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

That late-night clash on Margaret Court Arena became dramatic in the second set as Svitolina failed to seize a chance to serve for the match, Davis forcing the tense tie-break.

 

BENCIC, VEKIC CONTINUE RUNS

Coming off a semi-final appearance at the US Open last year, Belinda Bencic overcame former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 7-5 7-5.

The Swiss star will meet Anett Kontaveit, who recorded a 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Donna Vekic, the 19th seed, has cruised through her opening two matches after brushing past Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2.

Meanwhile, Dutch ninth seed Kiki Bertens was too good for Australian wildcard Arina Rodionova 6-3 7-5.

Karolina Muchova, the 20th-seeded Czech, was well beaten by CiCi Bellis 6-4 6-4.

Twenty-year-old American Bellis is playing her first grand slam in two years after injury kept her out of action for 18 months.

The prospect of equalling the women's singles grand slam record grows with each passing match as Serena Williams looks ahead to Friday's Australian Open third-round clash with Qiang Wang.

Williams - stuck on 23 major championships since winning the Australian Open in 2017 - trails Margaret Court's 24-trophy tally.

It has been a long time coming for Williams as the anticipation builds at Melbourne Park, where the 38-year-old American superstar is yet to drop a set this week.

We take a closer look at Williams' form ahead of the seven-time Australian Open champion's meeting with Wang.

 

Form and results

In her own words, it was not perfect but Williams did what she had to do en route to the third round. Celebrating her 400th slam singles match and 351st victory, Williams was untidy as she hit 28 unforced errors against Tamara Zidansek - who only tallied 13 in the straight-sets loss. She has looked comfortable so far in Melbourne, but the American great will have to improve as the tournament progresses.

R1: bt Potapova 6-0 6-3
R2: bt Zidansek 6-2 6-3

Next up

Wang - the 27th seed - is back in the Australian Open third round for the second successive year. The 28-year-old blitzed Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2 on Wednesday. Wang, who enjoyed a breakout 2018 season with two WTA titles, was steamrolled by Williams in the US Open quarter-finals last year. She did, however, benefit from a walkover at the Miami Masters.

Draw

It is a tantalising draw in Melbourne, but maybe not for Williams. A clash with good friend Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of this tournament, looms in the fourth round. Meanwhile, a quarter-final showdown with either defending champion Naomi Osaka or 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff could await.

What she said

"It's always a goal for me to make the Championships. That's always my goal, the slams and the Championships. Those are something that's super important for me."

Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

 

BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

 

OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

 

WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

Serena Williams said she had to adjust to accept imperfection during her second-round win over Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion looked in strong form early before having to battle during the second set of a 6-2 6-3 win on Wednesday.

Williams looked frustrated during the second set, when she committed 17 of her 28 unforced errors, before celebrating her 400th grand slam singles match with a win.

The American, 38, said it was an opportunity to accept she would encounter different challenges during matches in Melbourne.

"I was making a lot of errors. Definitely probably the most errors I've made since the start of the year," Williams told a news conference.

"So, just having to say, 'Okay, not every match is going to be perfect', how to work through that. I hadn't done that since September.

"It was just kind of working through that and getting through that."

Williams was glad to find the answers against Zidansek, who stayed in the second set until the seventh game.

"It [the internal dialogue] is definitely pretty deep. It has to be motivating but also realistic," she said.

"Sometimes you just miss some shots, you don't know why. Just trying to find an answer. That's what I kept doing.

"Thankfully I was able to find an answer in the middle, right in the middle of the second set."

Williams will face Chinese 27th seed Wang Qiang in the third round.

Serena Williams celebrated her 400th grand slam singles match with a straight-sets win over Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open.

Williams was forced into a battle in the second set on Rod Laver Arena before getting past Zidansek 6-2 6-3 in the second round on Wednesday.

The American remains on track in her bid to match Margaret Court on a record 24 grand slam singles titles despite an untidy display.

Williams secured her 351st grand slam singles match win in one hour, 18 minutes, moving into a third-round meeting with Chinese 27th seed Wang Qiang.

After Williams made a fast start – breaking in the opening game when Zidansek sent a forehand wide – and led 2-0, the Slovenian got on the board.

However, Williams quickly took command, racing into a 5-1 lead as her power overwhelmed Zidansek.

Williams clinched the opening set in 31 minutes, with Zidansek rarely able to match her from the baseline.

But Zidansek improved to begin the second set as Williams' level dropped, battling from 0-40 down to hold for a 3-2 lead.

Williams was growing increasingly frustrated and had to save three break points in the sixth game as the roof was closed due to rain.

Zidansek would be punished for those missed chances, Williams breaking to love in the next game on her way to a straight-sets win.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [8] bt Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 25/28
Zidansek – 11/13

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 7/0
Zidansek – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 4/14
Zidansek – 0/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 61
Zidansek – 57

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 78/46
Zidansek – 53/46

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 68
Zidansek – 49

Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka corrected an on-court interviewer over a mistake about the WTA's number one ranking. 

Osaka's title defence continued with a 6-2 6-4 win over Saisai Zheng in the second round at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

Seeded third for this year's opening grand slam but ranked fourth in the world, Osaka was dethroned as the WTA's number one by Ash Barty following the US Open.

When it was put to her that she could return to the top of the rankings with back-to-back Australian Open titles, Osaka - who has points to defend - looked on quizzically.

"Get through where to be number one in the world?," the confused Japanese star replied to the interviewer.

Top seed Barty has 8,017 points, well ahead of Osaka's 5,496.

Pressed again on the possibility of returning to the summit, Osaka said: "Oh really?

"No I thought because Ash [Barty] is like 2,000 points ahead of me and I have to defend this, that I'm going to drop out of the top 10 for real. OK that's good news for me... I guess."

Osaka overcame warm but breezy conditions to advance to the third round of the slam in Melbourne, not before her frustrations spilled over in the second set.

After dropping serve, Osaka dropped her racquet and kicked it before storming through to the next round.

"I definitely got very frustrated in the second set, and it's something that I knew would happen, but I didn't know the scale, like, what she would do to make me frustrated," Osaka told reporters in her post-match news conference.

"I think that I just really have to focus on knowing that I'm going to have really tough matches and I have to find a way to go around it and just be consistently level-headed."

Osaka added: "She was slicing and dicing and getting everything. I was, like, 'Can I just hit a winner already?' She was, like, 'No, I'm going to get everything'. That's basically what happened."

Caroline Wozniacki prolonged her career by at least another match after rallying past 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5 in the second round on Wednesday.  

Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open and the 2018 champion faced the prospect of going out against the red-hot Yastremska, who raced out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set.

Yastremska was in control before former world number one Wozniacki reeled off six successive games to steal the set on Margaret Court Arena.

Wozniacki was also down a double break and 3-0 at the start of the second set before weathering another storm at Melbourne Park.

Having lost momentum, Yastremska called for a medical timeout and it seemed to help as the Ukrainian saved three match points to hold for 5-5.

But 29-year-old Danish star Wozniacki was not to be denied, ensuring her farewell party carried through to the third round after more than two hours on court.

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