Beaten Australian Open finalist Serena Williams lamented her shot selection, though the world number one was quick to heap praise on Angelique Kerber.
Beaten Australian Open finalist Serena Williams lamented her shot selection on Saturday, though the world number one was quick to heap praise on Angelique Kerber.
Despite a late rally, Williams was well below her best in the shock 6-4 3-6 6-4 defeat to grand-slam final debutant Kerber on Rod Laver Arena.
Six-time Australian Open champion Williams struggled early, racking up 23 of her 46 unforced errors in the opening set as she lost her first final at Melbourne Park, while Kerber tallied just 13 for the entire match.
And speaking to reporters afterwards, 34-year-old Williams said: "I was missing a lot off the ground, coming to the net.
"She kept hitting some great shots actually every time I came in. I think I kept picking the wrong shots coming into it.
"But it's something to learn from, just to try to get better.
"I think I did the best I could today. You know, would I give myself an A? No. But today this is what I could produce today.
"Maybe tomorrow I could produce something different. But that's all I can go off."
The three-set victory, lasting more than two hours, saw Kerber become the first German since Steffi Graf in 1999 to win a slam.
All this coming as the Australian Open seventh seed, which was last achieved by Williams in 2005.
"I was actually really happy for her. She's been around a really long time," Williams said. "We've had a number of matches. I've beaten her a lot.
"She played so well today. She had an attitude that I think a lot of people can learn from: just to always stay positive and to never give up.
"I was really inspired by that. So, honestly, she's a really good girl. If I couldn't win, I'm happy she did."