Serena Williams upset by unseeded Makarova in Melbourne

Serena Williams during her loss to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in their fourth-round match in Melbourne.

Story highlights

  • Serena Williams loses in straight sets to Russian world No. 56 in Melbourne
  • Ekatarina Makarova earns quarterfinal clash with fourth seed Maria Sharapova
  • World No. 2 Petra Kvitova reaches last eight after beating Ana Ivanovic
  • Defending champion Kim Clijsters will face top seed Caroline Wozniacki in quarterfinal

Unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova upset five-time champion Serena Williams of the United States 6-2 6-3 on Monday to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

The fourth-round match was played as temperatures hit above 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit).

Makarova's two previous grand slam appearances -- at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year -- ended with losses in the first round as she faded from a career-high 29th in the rankings -- a position she reached with last-16 appearances in Melbourne and at the French Open.

"I'm surprised because she's a great player and it's really tough to play against her," said the 23-year-old Makarova, who will next play her fourth-seeded compatriot Maria Sharapova.

Nishikori makes history for Japan

"But, I don't know, I was just feeling so good and so focused. So I played my game, and that's it. I won against Serena. That's amazing."

Former world No. 1 Williams, seeded 12th, refused to blame the ankle injury she suffered in a warm-up tournament in Brisbane.

"I feel like I didn't play well today. I don't feel like I can't get better. I feel like if I was in a situation where, 'Wow, she played so great, and I played amazing, and I served 80%, and I hit no double-faults, I didn't hit 37 unforced errors,' that would be a totally different situation," the 30-year-old said.

"I didn't play well. I'm not physically 100%. So it's just like, you know, I can't be so angry at myself, even though I'm very unhappy. I know that I can play a hundred times better than I did this whole tournament."

Sharapova, the 2008 champion, secured her place in the last eight as she came from behind to beat German 14th seed Sabine Lisicki 2-6 6-2 6-3 in the late match.

It was their first meeting since last year's Wimbledon semifinals, when Sharapova also won before losing in the final.

Earlier Monday, Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Petra Kvitova reached the quarterfinals after beating Serbian 21st seed and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

The Czech will next face Italy's Sara Errani, who beat China's Zheng Jie 6-2 6-1.

On Sunday, defending champion and 11th seed Kim Clijsters saved four match points as she overcame the opponent she beat in last year's Australian Open final, Li Na, 4-6 7-6 6-4.

The former world No.1 was in trouble early on as she turned her ankle in the opening set and needed medical treatment before battling back to book a quarterfinal clash with top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.

Fifth seed Li took full advantage of Clijsters' discomfort by taking the first set, but the Belgian showed typical resilience when she leveled the match after a dramatic tie break, during which she faced match point four times.

Kim Clijsters turned her ankle during her fourth round women's singles match against China's Li Na.

The setback clearly stunned Li, who quickly found herself 5-2 down in the deciding set before staging a late rally. But the momentum was with the Belgian, as she closed out the match.

"I can't believe I won," Clijsters told the Australian Open's official website. "I knew before the match that it was going to be a tough match but I didn't expect this obviously!

"I don't want to quit my last time at the Australian Open. It [retiring] definitely crossed my mind at some point. But at one point you think, 'Okay, I'm just gonna go for it.' Once I made that decision, I didn't think."

Wozniacki, from Denmark, beat Serbian 13th seed Jelena Jankovic 6-0 7-5 as she continues her quest to secure the first grand slam victory of her career.

After wrapping up the opening set in just over half an hour, Wozniacki dropped her serve twice in the second as Jankovic found her feet, but she held her nerve to serve out the match.

"I'm just happy to be here as the winner of the match," Wozniacki said. "I felt like I played some really good tennis out there today.

"She started to play really well as well. She had nothing to lose so she had to go for it. I knew she was a fighter and it wasn't going to be easy. "

Elsewhere Sunday, world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus cruised past Czech Iveta Benesova 6-2 6-2 to reach the last eight.

She will now face Polish eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who thrashed Julia Gorges of Germany 6-1 6-1.


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.