What happened at the Australian Open on Wednesday might just go down as the craziest twist on match-point in modern tennis.
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, had fought back from a set and a break down and was serving for a place in the semi-final at 5-1 against Karolina Pliskova. She had her first match point, she sent down an ace and was called out.. for a foot fault.
What happened next can only be called a series of unfortunate events for Serena. She rolled her ankle and was visibly hurt while serving and got broken. Pliskova, who was a double break down, sensed the opportunity and held on in the next game.
Two games later, Serena had three more match points on return but was unable to capitalise with her injured leg and the Czech seventh seed reeled off six straight games to seal her place in the semi-finals.
The American great, who had beaten world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round, all but folded against the big-serving Pliskova 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the hot Melbourne sun.
It was brutal on the 37-year-old, who is chasing Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles as her terrific run came to an unlucky end.
The ankle twist and subsequent change in Serena’s fortunes was the talk of Twitter as tennis fans couldn’t believe the incredible scenes they had just witnessed.