Sport

US teen Stephens into Aus Open semis after toppling Serena

EVEN Sloane Stephens didn't really think she could beat Serena Williams, not before she went to bed on Tuesday night anyway.

But when she woke up yesterday morning she thought what the hell, just give it your best shot.

That's exactly what she did, conjuring up the biggest upset in recent times by beating Williams 3-6 7-5 6-4 to earn an Australian Open semi-final match-up against world No.1 Victoria Azarenka.

"Uhm, last night I was thinking about it and I was like, someone asked me like, 'Do you think you can win'?" the 19-year-old said.

"I was like, 'Yeah, I think so', but I wasn't like too clear about it.

"Then this morning when I got up, I was like, 'Look, dude, like, you can do this. Like, go out and play and do your best'."

Her best didn't look like it would be good enough when Williams took the first set, but the teenager's prospects changed dramatically when the tournament favourite needed a medical time out to get treatment on a back complaint late in the second set.

Sloane Stephens of the US celebrates winning a point in her Quarterfinal match against Serena Williams of the US during day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.
Sloane Stephens of the US celebrates winning a point in her Quarterfinal match against Serena Williams of the US during day ten of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

After the match Williams refused to use the injury as an excuse, although it clearly hampered her game, particularly her serve.

"It's fine," she said.

"Everyone at this stage in the locker room has something wrong with them, so it's fine - there's no excuse there."

Questioned further, Williams said, "A few days ago it just got really tight and I had no rotation on it. I went for this drop shot in the second set today and it just locked up on me. It was a little painful, and I couldn't really rotate after that. But it's okay. It was what it was."

Stephens is the first American teenager to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Williams achieved the feat at the 2001 US Open.

Azarenka earned her place in today's semi-final by downing Russian Svetlana Kusnetsova 7-5 6-1.

Topics:  australian open, injury, serena williams, tennis, victoria azarenka



Blood thicker than water for ex-Shark Wheeler

Mal Wheeler will be cheering son-in-law Blair on in Sunday's grand final. Blair is pictured scoring a try against Canberra in last weekend's preliminary final.

I have my shirt and beanie and they're both purple.

Which was the best flower at the Murwillumbah Garden Show?

WINNER: Murwillumbah and District Garden Club president Wayne Tagget with Ted Chilcott's winning entry for the general cut flower section.

IN A sea of bright blooms there could only be one champion.

Tweed product Cheysing NRL premiership dream

STORMING: Tweed Heads and Bilambil Jets' product Cheyse Blair scores a try for the Melbourne Storm during the NRL preliminary final against the Canberra Raiders.

Former Bilambil jet in NRL's big dance.

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West 'sick of talking about Taylor Swift'

Kim Kardashian West is sick of talking about Taylor Swift.

Justin Bieber ordered to attend Miami deposition

Justin Bieber has been ordered to travel to Miami for a deposition

Sludge metal heaven served up across Australia

Black Rheno bring their stripped back sludge metal through regional Australia.

Black Rheno to hit a town near you

Prog metal upstarts to tour Australia

Caligula’s Horse, one of the country’s most exciting and innovative progressive bands, will hit the road for a national tour in November.

Australian prog masters announce national tour

Debra Messing wants to do a 'naughty' Will and Grace reunion

'Will & Grace' star Debra Messing wants a "naughty" reunion

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'working on custody agreement'

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are thrashing out a custody agreement

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Penthouse in beach paradise

Take in the beach front views from the balcony of 701/ 4-10 Douglas Street, Kirra.

This beachfront penthouse is the perfect place to enjoy the views.

Casuarina sets the benchmark in Tweed market

Our property market is as strong as it's been since the crisis

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record