Serena Williams has performed 967 tour-level singles suits as a qualified, with simply 4 losses towards warring parties ranked outdoor the highest 100 — and none in 8 years.
Well, it’s time to upload to that listing: Williams used to be crushed by way of No. 116 Shelby Rogers 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) within the Top Seed Open quarterfinals.
“It’s good to know,” Williams mentioned, “I can play a lot, lot, lot better.” She’ll need to accomplish that quickly: The U.S. Open starts Aug. 31.
Rogers, who’s from South Carolina, took six of the closing 8 issues Friday after trailing 3-1 within the tiebreaker to gather most effective her 3rd profession victory over a top-10 opponent.
She additionally reached her first WTA semifinal since 2016. Need to move even additional again within the file books to to find this type of event go out for former No. 1 Williams: The proprietor of 23 Grand Slam singles titles hadn’t bowed out towards somebody so low within the ratings since No. 111 Virginie Razzano shocked her on the 2012 French Open.
Shortly after that, Williams teamed up with trainer Patrick Mouratoglou, who nonetheless works along with her and used to be a number of the few folks within the stands Friday — enthusiasts aren’t allowed on the first tennis event within the U.S. for the reason that outset of the coronavirus pandemic.
It had came about most effective 3 different instances, together with in qualifying at Quebec City the entire long ago in 1995, when Williams used to be making her skilled debut at age 14. Now she’s 38; Rogers is 27.
“It’s every kid’s dream when they’re growing up, watching her play, to be able to do something like that,” Rogers mentioned. “Weird circumstances, weird setting, but a win is a win and I know we’re all just happy to be back playing.”
Later Friday, 16-year-old American Coco Gauff reached her 2nd WTA semifinal with fairly a comeback. One level from trailing by way of a collection and two breaks, Gauff gained 10 of the closing 11 video games to get rid of No. eight seed Ons Jabeur 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Gauff used to be down 4-2 in the second one set and going through a spoil level, however Jabeur sailed a backhand lengthy. That used to be sufficient to let Gauff again into the event and she or he quickly took complete keep an eye on.
In the semifinals, Gauff will meet Jennifer Brady, who complicated by way of beating Marie Bouzkova 6-1, 6-2.
Rogers faces Jil Teichmann of Switzerland on Saturday. Teichmann wanted seven event issues to succeed in the primary hard-court semifinal of her profession with a 6-2, 6-Four victory over CiCi Bellis.
The loss to Rogers used to be the 3rd consecutive three-setter for Williams on the hard-court Top Seed Open. She dropped the outlet set of every of the others sooner than coming again to win, together with towards older sister Venus in the second one spherical.
On Friday, beginning after a rain prolong of greater than two hours, Williams appeared at the method to a miles more practical victory. She by no means confronted a spoil level till serving whilst trailing 5-Four in the second one set.
That’s when issues shifted.
Rogers earned 3 spoil issues — every one a collection level — and transformed the 3rd when Williams dumped a forehand into the online.
There have been no breaks within the 3rd set, and after Williams took the early lead within the tiebreaker, she used to be her personal undoing with pass over after pass over, together with an extended backhand go back to finish it.
“I kind of made it difficult for myself by making a plethora of unforced errors,” Williams mentioned.
With social-distancing laws in position, the avid gamers didn’t meet on the internet for the commonplace post-match handshake. As they headed to their sideline seats, Williams smiled. Rogers merely sat down and temporarily shook a fist.