Image: Christophe Ena/AP
The first round of the French Open opened in dramatic fashion just a few days into play at Roland Garros. Highly favored to take home her second French Open title, Serena Williams was defeated for the first time in her tennis career during the opening round of a Grand Slam.
The championship will belong to another as Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano defeated Wiliams in stunning fashion 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3. Razzano, ranked 111th in the world was at one point 2 points away in the second-set tiebreak from packing her bags. Williams up 5-2 in the tiebreak when she challenged a shot that she felt had gone long. The chair umpire ruled it in and then Razzano went on to take the tiebreak winning the remainder of the points.
The third set started with Williams looking quite shell-shocked and more of an observer as Razzano jumped quickly to a 5-0 lead. Williams did attempt a rally and managed to put some points on the board coming as close as 5-3. It was too little to late when after battling a 23-minute game Razzano managed to close out the final set. Williams previously held a 46-0 record in opening rounds of Grand Slam tournaments.
”I made so many errors today, which isn’t the game I was playing in the past,” Williams said after the match. ”That’s life.”
For the rest of the field the tournament is now clearly wide open and those on William’s side of the draw are quietly breathing a sigh of relief. Maria Sharapova came into the week as the No. 2 seed and easily defeated Alexandra Cadantu 6-0, 6-0 earlier in the day. Petra Kvitova reigning Wimbledon champion also moved on fairly easily defeating Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-2.
For Williams this will be remembered not only as one of the biggest upsets of her career, but also in Grand Slam history. After coming into Paris with such high hopes, this is one day that most certainly she wants to quickly forget.