Serena In Shock Defeat
5/31/2012 3:33:36 PM -
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.