Serena Williams says losing tight matches is like bad love—and she’s determined to dump her date.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion built a 7-5, 5-2 lead over Maria Sakkari and served for a spot in the Western & Southern Open quarterfinals only to squander the lead, hit the wall and fall to the 13th-seeded Greek 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-1.
The defeat comes weeks after one of the game’s greatest closers dropped six of the last eight points losing to 116th-ranked Shelby Rogers 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) in the Top Seed Open quarterfinals in Lexington.
Serena says her inability to close is like dating a loser—she keeps setting herself up for hurt.
“I put myself in a bad situation,” Williams said. “It’s like dating a guy that you know sucks. That’s literally what I keep doing out here. It’s like I have got to get rid of this guy.
“It just makes no sense. It’s frustrating. Yes, I was obviously cramping, but that’s no excuse. I can’t sit here and make excuses.”
Since her return in Lexington, the former world No. 1 has been pushed to the three-set limit in all five of her matches.
“I’ve just got to start learning how to win big points,” Williams said. “It was literally one point since January. One point I could have won so many more matches, literally. So if I could just focus on how to win that one point, that would be better.”
Photo credit: Top Seed Open