Williams out in first round as Nadal dazzles
SERENA Williams was yesterday knocked out at the first round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career after losing 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to world number 111 Virginie Razzono in the French Open.
Williams, the 2002 champion and this year’s fifth seed, squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set tie-break to lose in three hours and three minutes to the French outsider, who has never advanced beyond the fourth round of the tournament and was struggling with cramp.
Razzano took the opening five games of the decisive set after her tie-break victory but needed eight match points to finally seal the win which denies Williams the chance of an anticipated quarter-final against second seed Maria Sharapova.
“I made so many errors, which hasn’t been the game I’ve been playing,” said Williams. “I was definitely nervous, which I think is healthy, but there are no excuses.”
Sharapova took just 48 minutes to defeat Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0 and advance to the second round of the only Grand Slam she has yet to win against Ayumi Morita of Japan.
Equally decisive was former world number one Carolina Wozniacki, this year’s ninth seed, in defeating Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou 6-0 6-1.
In the men’s tournament, meanwhile, six-time winner Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Italy’s Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-2 6-1 in 118 minutes, taking his record at Roland Garros to 46 wins from 47 matches. The Spaniard was comfortable throughout, even winning eight consecutive games.
Nadal’s compatriot David Ferrer also won in straight sets, though his 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory over Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko lacked the same irrepressible dominance, while France’s Richard Gasquet also impressed in beating Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 3-6 4-6 6-7 (4/7) to reach the second round.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic today play their second round ties, with world number one Djokovic targeting a fourth successive Grand Slam.
R Federer (3) v A Uqur
N Djokovic (1) v B Kavcic
C Stebe v J Tsonga (5)
A Radswanska (3) v V Williams
V Azarenka (1) v D Pfizenmaier
P Martic v M Bartoli (8)