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Serena's Game Falls Apart in Australia

AP

It's not that she didn't try, because she did. It's not that she wasn't fit enough to play, because she was. But Serena Williams, a five-time champion at the Australian Open, put in a performance Monday that she described as "disastrous" while losing 6-2, 6-3 to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, ranked No. 56 in the world.

Why? Not quite sure she even knows the answer to that question. Lack of match practice certainly played a part, as did the fact the ankle she injured in Brisbane made moving to the left difficult. But it didn't explain the lethargy that seemed to be draped over Serena's game like a cloak of despair. At times she appeared to move in slow motion, and her second serve would have looked ordinary on those public courts in New York's Central Park.

"I...

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