Serena Williams 'almost relieved' after Slam nightmare

The 15-time major champion said she had never endured a tougher time at a Grand Slam tournament, since making her major debut at the 1998 Australian Open.

updated: January 23, 2013 13:12 IST
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Melbourne: Serena Williams said she was "almost relieved" to go tumbling out of the Australian Open Wednesday after injury turned her 50th Grand Slam appearance into the worst of her life.

Williams, who was targeting a calendar-year Grand Slam and aiming to become the oldest women's world number one in history, was stunned 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 by teenager Sloane Stephens.

After rolling her ankle in her first match and hitting herself in the mouth with her racquet in the second, the 31-year-old suffered back spasms in the second set against Stephens which limited her movement.

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