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Tennis: Williams blames headache for upset loss

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posted on Oct, 27 2004 @ 03:42 PM
Serena Williams blamed a headache for her poor play in a 7-6 (5), 6-3 upset loss to qualifier Alina Jidkova in the second round of the Generali Ladies Open.

The third-seeded Williams, who got a first-round bye, made 29 unforced errors. She hadn't played in a month because of lingering pain in her left knee.
"My knee was pretty OK, but I suffered from a bad headache," Williams said.

The six-time major champion was given pain killers by a trainer after falling behind 3-1 in the second set. Williams said the medicine helped her head but slowed her reaction and time and made her feel tired.

Jidkova, a 25-year-old Russian, never has won a WTA Tour title and she had lost five straight main-draw matches coming into this tournament.

"It feels so great to have beaten Serena. I was trying to watch the ball and forget whom I am facing," said the 73rd-ranked Jidkova, who's lost seven straight first-round matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

Asked whether she thought Williams was not at her best, Jidkova said: "What do you mean, 'She was not fit'? She was hitting great, and I don't think she had any pains."

The stunning setback hurt Williams' chances of qualifying for the season-ending tour championship in Los Angeles next month. She didn't sound too upset about that, saying that if she doesn't make the field, "I will go on vacation instead."

Associated Press

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