- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2012

MELBOURNE, Australia — Five-time champion Serena Williams has lost at the Australian Open for the first time since 2008, struggling with her serve and hitting too many unforced errors during a 6-2, 6-3 setback against No. 56-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.

Williams was surprised by the power of the groundstrokes coming back at her from Makarova, the lowest-ranked player to make the fourth round of the season’s first major.

The 13-time Grand Slam winner had seven double faults — including four in one game in the second set — and 37 unforced errors to give Makarova a spot in the quarterfinals.

Williams sprained her left ankle in a warmup tournament at Brisbane two weeks ago, but didn’t show any signs of being restricted on Monday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova recovered from an embarrassing miss and a two-game lapse to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 7-6 (2) on Monday for a spot in the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Two-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray only spent 49 minutes on court in the next match at Rod Laver Arena and was leading 6-1, 6-1, 1-0 when Mikhail Kukushkin retired from their fourth-round match with a left hip injury, giving him an easy path into the quarterfinals.

The 21-year-old Kvitova was seemingly fast-tracking her progress to the last eight until her game momentarily came undone near the end of the second set after she missed a routine overhead at the net to allow the former French Open champion to pull to 4-5.

She lost the next eight points to fall behind 6-5 — badly missing on a couple of wild groundstrokes — and only managed to force a tiebreaker with two big serves out wide in the 12th game.

Ivanovic’s two double-faults early in the tiebreaker gave Kvitova some easy points and took the pressure off.

The match seemed close to ending much earlier when Kvitova got into perfect position to put away an innocuous lob from Ivanovic, but played through the shot too quickly and was hit instead on the body.

“It was a very tough match at the end. I mean it was a really easy point then I thought I got it and I lost eight points in a row,” she said. “I’m very happy I played very well in the tiebreak.”

She’ll next play either Sara Errani of Italy or China’s Zheng Jie, a semifinalist here in 2010.

The temperature in Melbourne hit 90 degrees on Monday and the sunny conditions made it difficult to serve from one end.

“It’s obviously good for me, I get to conserve some energy,” Murray said. “Tough for him, first time in the fourth-round of a Slam.”

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