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Williams loses to Rogers at top seed open

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LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – AUGUST 14: Serena Williams serves during her match against Shelby Rogers during Top Seed Open – Day 5 at the Top Seed Tennis Club on August 14, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Serena Williams lost in the Top Seed Open quarter-finals after fellow American Shelby Rogers came back from a set down to win their rain-delayed match 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 in Lexington.

Former world number one, Williams, dominated the first set but a resilient Rogers forced a decider.

Rogers, ranked 116 in the world, then edged the tie-break to record a memorable victory.

“It’s every kid’s dream to be able to do something like that,” Rogers said.

It was Williams’ first loss since 2012 to a player outside the WTA’s top 100 since Virginie Razzano at 2012 Roland Garros.

The tournament top seed, who came from a set down to beat her sister Venus in the previous round, was playing her first tournament in six months.

Seemingly unaffected by the three-hour rain delay, the 23-time Grand Slam champion looked comfortable in the opening set, showcasing a full variety of shots and big serves, powering the ball from the baseline with some neat footwork.

Williams, 38, could not find a way past Rogers in the second set, who left it late to break her compatriot and take the game in to a third set.

A confident Rogers, 27, played some classy shots of her own in the third set, including a brilliant lob to take the score to 6-5, before a Williams hold set up a tense tie-break.

But Rogers, who did not face a break point in the second and third sets, came out on top.

“I could play a lot better, I think that’s the main thing I can take from this match,” said Williams.

“I made it difficult on myself by making a plethora of unforced errors.”

Meanwhile, 16-year-old American Coco Gauff is through to her second WTA semi-final after she battled to beat Tunisia’s number eight seed Ons Jabeur 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Gauff had been two games from defeat in the second set when she won four in a row to level the match and then reeled off five straight games in the decider.

The world number 53 will play fellow American Jennifer Brady in the next round.


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