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Serena stunned in 4th round
Australian Open Tenni Heal
Serena Williams of the U.S. supports herself with a racket as she plays Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila) - photo by Associated Press

WEATHER: Sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 21 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit).

ATTENDANCE: Day session: 46,070; Night: 15,255; TOTAL: 61,325.

SEEDED WINNERS: Men: No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 David Ferrer, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka. Women: No. 4 Li Na, No. 14 Ana Ivanovic, No. 28 Flavia Pennetta, No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard.

SEEDED LOSERS: Men: No. 15 Fabio Fognini, No. 17 Tommy Robredo, No. 19 Kevin Anderson. Women: No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 9 Angelique Kerber, No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova.

STAT OF THE DAY: 70: not much to celebrate for Serena Williams, but her match Sunday beat the former mark of 69 held by Lindsay Davenport for most women's singles matches played at the Australian Open.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I made a tremendous amount of errors, shots ... I haven't missed since the '80s" — Williams after her loss.

PLAYING MONDAY: Remainder of Fourth Round: No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 16 Kei Nishikori, No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Stephane Robert, No. 6 Roger Federer vs. No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,. No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov vs. Roberto Bautisa Agut; No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 13 Sloane Stephens, No. 3 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Garbine Muguruza, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic vs. No. 11 Simona Halep.

FORECAST MONDAY: Possibility of early showers, high of 25 C (77 F).

 

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams' long winning streak came to an end in a stunning fourth-round defeat to Ana Ivanovic at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Ivanovic hadn't won a set in her four previous matches against Williams, who had been a hot favorite to win a sixth Australian Open crown for her 18th Grand Slam title. Williams later admitted she'd been bothered by a back problem in practice in recent days and considered pulling out of the tournament.

The No. 14-seeded Ivanovic set up the 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win by attacking the best serve in women's tennis. She frequently stood well inside the baseline to receive, she took big swipes on her forehand and generally put Williams off her rhythm.

"It's not easy playing such a champion ... but she is also just a human," said Ivanovic, who beat Venus Williams in the final of the WTA event at Auckland, New Zealand earlier this month. "I just went out there swinging at the ball."

Williams hadn't lost a match since August, one of only four defeats in 2013, and came into the fourth round with 25 straight wins. It was her 70th match at Melbourne Park, a record in the Open era, and she'd already set the mark for most match wins ever at the Australian Open with her third-round victory.

"It wasn't the best," Williams said after being told her coach had released news of her back problem.

"Again, I don't want to blame anything. I feel like Ana deserves all the credit," Williams added. "I feel she played unbelievable today. I think she went for her shots. It's not like I gave her the match."

Williams has been almost perfect after winning the first set in Australian Open matches, losing only once in 52 previous matches after winning the opening set. That single previous defeat was against fellow American Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals last year.

Ivanovic got on top early in the second set with some powerful forehand winners and never really let Williams back into the contest.

The 2008 French Open champion had 33 winners, including 20 on her forehand side.

Williams hit 22 winners but made 31 unforced errors, with most coming uncharacteristically on her backhand side.

"I made a tremendous amount of errors, shots ... I haven't missed since the '80s," Williams said.

Ivanovic advanced to a quarterfinal against the winner of Sunday's later match between Australian wild-card entry Casey Dellacqua and No. 30-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

The other quarterfinal on this half will feature two women who'll turn 32 next month, with two-time finalist Li Na beating No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-0 and No. 28 Flavia Pennetta upsetting No. 9 Angelique Kerber 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.