Venus Williams suffers another first round defeat in Paris

40-year-old has now fallen at first hurdle in five of her last six Grand Slam tournaments

Venus Williams was beaten in the opening round of the French Open in Paris. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty

Venus Williams was beaten in the opening round of the French Open in Paris. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty

 

Former French Open runner-up Venus Williams suffered her second successive first-round loss in a Grand Slam as she went down 6-4 6-4 to Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Sunday.

With a chill wind blowing and drizzle falling on the Simonne-Mathieu arena, the 40-year-old Williams began strongly but got bogged down in a baseline battle on a slow surface.

The American has now fallen in the opening round at the French Open for the past three years.

Williams led 3-1 and 4-2 in the first set against the 26-year-old who is playing under a special ranking after undergoing knee surgery, but lost a series of lengthy games as a first set lasting 68 minutes slipped away.

Unable to hold her once mighty serve, Williams, the oldest player in the draw, fell 4-1 down in the second set as Schmiedlova moved within sight of snapping a streak of 12 successive Grand Slam first-round defeats since 2016.

Williams, who played in black leggings and a bodywarmer, finally held serve after being broken six times in a row to close to 3-4 in the second as Schmiedlova began to look a little nervy but the Slovak edged 5-3 in front.

Seven-times Grand Slam champion Williams fought ferociously until the end, saving two match points on serve, but Schmiedlova showed great composure to serve it out, sealing victory with a forehand down the line.

Williams, playing her 87th Grand Slam and now ranked 76th in the world, also lost in the opening round at the US Open, the first time she had fallen at the first hurdle at her home Slam in major in 22 appearances.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.