Serena Williams succumbed to a dramatic 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat against world number 111 Virginie Razzano of France in the French Open first round.
It is the first time the fifth-seeded 2002 champion has lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam event. “There is no excuse,” admitted Williams after the match. “I made so many errors today. I just didn’t play at all.”
Second seed Maria Sharapova, who has never reached the final, beat Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0 in only 48 minutes. Williams was at the top of Sharapova’s section of the draw and the two were expected to meet at the quarter-final stage.
But the 30-year-old American squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set tie-break and lost in three hours, three minutes.
Having lost six points in succession in that tie-break, Williams then conceded the first five games of the deciding set.
Razzano, who has never gone beyond the fourth round, was struggling with cramp and lost three games in a row, but in a 25-minute final game containing 12 deuces, the 29-year-old finally prevailed on her eighth match point.
“I just felt I couldn’t get a ball in play. When I did, I just felt like I was hitting late and, I mean, how can you hit late on a clay court?” Williams said.“I was definitely nervous, which I think is healthy, but there are no excuses.”
A delighted Razzano thanked the boisterous home support at the end of the match. “You [the crowd] gave me your energy. I’m gonna have to rest. Thank you all for your support,” she said.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|