While Serena Williams was trying to pummel and pirouette her way to an astonishing 24th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open — in the end she lost in the finals after a heated confrontation with the chair umpire over series of code violations — she’s equally resolved to sell a gated estate in the rustically ritzy Stone Canyon area of L.A.’s Bel Air community. First listed almost a year ago at close to $12 million, the property is now available through Greg Piechota and Amit Lalji of Keller Williams Beverly Hills with a substantially lower price tag of just under $10 million. Purchased in early 2006 for a bit more than $6.6 million, the 2.7-acre spread hides behind a high hedge. The somewhat disconcertingly baby blue residence, originally built in the mid-1930s, contains six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in a mite more than 6,100 square feet.

White-marble floor tiles flow from the surprisingly narrow entrance hall into a cavernous, semicircular living room. There, a continuous row of French doors lead to verdant gardens juxtaposed against an arid, scrubby hillside. There’s also a formal dining room, a sumptuous dark-paneled library/office, an up-to-date kitchen with adjoining breakfast room and — red-carpet walkers take note — a private hair and makeup salon. Several of the guest bedrooms have private balconies; the master suite offers a fitted walk-in closet and an octagonal dressing room plus a marble bathroom with classic claw-footed soaking tub and steam shower. Cliché as it may sound, the grounds really are park-like with manicured sweeps of sun-dappled lawns, boxwood-lined pathways and a roomy, poolside loggia with outdoor fireplace.

Williams, who’s earned roughly $85 million in prize money and many more tens of millions in endorsements, and her internet entrepreneur husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder and executive chairman of Reddit, don’t appear ready to pull up all their real estate roots in Los Angeles. The couple, who also maintain an apartment in Paris and a large home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., last year paid nearly $6.7 million for a brand-new, neo-Mediterranean residence of about 6,000 square feet in a guard-gated enclave tucked into the mountains between Beverly Hills and Studio City.

listing photos: Keller Williams Beverly Hills