Serena Williams had never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament until this past Monday at the French Open. Photo by Christophe Ena, Associated Press
Serena Williams lost in the first round of a major tournament for the first time in her career, falling to Virginie Razzano of France 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 Tuesday at the French Open.
The fifth-seeded Williams was two points from victory several times in the second set, including leading 5-1 in the tiebreaker. But Razzano won six straight points to force a third set, and then took control of the match.
“I made so many errors today, which isn’t the game I was playing in the past,” Williams said. “That’s life.”
Williams entered the day with a 46-0 record in first-round matches at Grand Slam tournaments. She had been looking for her 14th major title, and second at Roland Garros.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion had five break points in the final game, but she couldn’t convert.
“I was just thinking, if I can break here we’ll be back on serve,” Williams said.
Razzano saved all five, and then converted her eighth match point to eliminate one of the tournament favorites.
“I had to dig deep against a great champion and you could see until the end that she gave away nothing,” Razzano said. “I had to go and get the victory. I had to be mentally strong, and I gave my everything.”
Major tournaments in which Serena Williams was eliminated before the quarterfinals:
1998 — Second Round: lost to Venus Williams, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
1999 — Third Round: lost to Sandrine Testud, 6-2, 2-6, 9-7.
2000 — Fourth Round: lost to Elena Likhovtseva, 6-3, 6-3.
2006 — Third Round: lost to Daniela Hantuchova, 6-1, 7-6 (5).
2012 — Fourth Round: lost to Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2, 6-3.
1998 — Fourth Round: lost to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
1999 — Third Round: lost to Mary Joe Fernandez, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0.
2008 — Third Round: lost to Katarina Srebotnik, 6-4, 6-4.
2012 — First Round: lost to Virginie Razzano, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
1998 — Third Round: lost to Virginia Ruano Pascual, 7-5, 4-1, retired.
2005 — Third Round: lost to Jill Craybas, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
2011 — Fourth Round: lost to Marion Bartoli, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
1998 — Third Round: lost to Irina Spirlea, 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.
2005 — Fourth Round: lost to V.Williams, 7-6 (5), 6-2.
2006 — Fourth Round: lost to Amelie Mauresmo, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.
Check out the Sentinel Sports Section on Facebook and Twitter.
Sentinel Sports Section Facebook page:
Sentinel Sports Twitter page: