Melbourne: Serena Williams is out of the Australian Open after suffering an apparent lower back injury and losing her quarterfinal match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens.
Williams appeared to hurt her back while attempting to pull up short of the net during the eighth game of the second set. She called for a trainer after the ninth game with the score 5-4 and on serve.
Stephens won the second set when Williams, serving slower than usual, was broken. Williams also had her service broken in the final game of the match.
At 2-1 and on the way to a changeover in the third set, Williams smashed her racket angrily on the court then threw it toward her chair.
Stephens will play defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.