It was a rough day at the office for a pair of legends on Wednesday.
Serena Williams committed 88 unforced errors—including a double fault on match point—in a stunning 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 loss to countrywoman Madison Brengle in the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
After the match, the 22-time Grand Slam champion decried the conditions in New Zealand, and told reporters that she’s “never returned like that in my life.”
In Perth, at the Hopman Cup, Roger Federer lost for the first time this season after topping Dan Evans in his opener. In a thrilling, back-and-forth encounter, Federer was edged, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), by 19-year-old German Alexander Zverev.
Considering the Hopman Cup is a team event that has no impact on the ATP rankings—it’s essentially an exhibition—Federer understandably took the loss easier than Serena did.
The 35-year-old got back in the win column in mixed-doubles play, defeating Andrea Petkovic and Zverev, 4-1, 4-2, alongside teammate Belinda Bencic.
This was Williams’ first tournament since the U.S. Open, so some rust was expected. Her next stop is Melbourne, where she’ll try to win her seventh Australian Open and pass Steffi Graf for the most singles majors in the Open era.
Federer has some more tennis to play before vying for his fifth Australian Open title later this month. Switzerland will take on France in a round-robin match on Friday, and the winner will advance to Saturday’s final.