MADRID, May 12 (Reuters) – World number three Venus Williams followed her sister Serena out of the Madrid Open on Tuesday when she was beaten 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 by unseeded Russian teenager Alisa Kleybanova in the second round.
The American was broken seven times by the 19-year-old world number 26 from Moscow, a day after Serena retired from her first round match against Francesca Schiavone with a knee injury.
Kleybanova, who knocked Ana Ivanovic out of this year’s Australian Open, served for the match at 5-4 in the final set before Williams broke back.
But the Russian grabbed another break of serve in the next game and made no mistake second time around, sealing victory on her first match point when Williams went long with a forehand.
“It was not a good first set, just really flat, and that gave her the confidence that she had a chance,” Williams said at a news conference.
With the French Open starting at the end of this month, one of two grand slams along with the Australian Open that she has never won, Williams said it was important for her not to take the defeat too much to heart.
“I think I’m playing really well and I’m moving well on the court and I feel good,” she said. “I have another tournament to play so I’m focusing on playing positive there.”