Ninth Seed Venus Williams Loses in First Round of Roland Garros
(May 27, 2018) Former French Open finalist Venus Williams became the first major upset on day one in Paris on Sunday. The 2002 runner-up lost to China’s Wang Qiang 6-4, 7-5 in the first round on Court Suzanne Lenglen. It is her first-ever win over the seven-time major champion.
Wang, ranked 85th in the world, Wang got a little revenge, she lost to Williams in the first round at Roland Garros last year and fell to the American a few weeks later at Wimbledon.
The former No. 1 Williams loses in the first round of the French Open for the fourth time in her career. She also lost in the first round of the Australian Open in January.
“I think she just played well. I mean, all the times we’ve played, she’s played great. I think her game just got better and better during the match.”
Asked about how well her opponent was playing, Williams said: “Honestly, everybody plays me well. So that doesn’t surprise me at all.”
“There really are no perfect days in tennis, so you have to be ready to play no matter what.”
Williams said that she has five weeks to get ready for grass court season. She has no plans to play any grass-court warm-up tournaments before Wimbledon.
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) May 27, 2018
Another surprise in the women’s event, saw No. 22 seed Johanna Konta beaten by Yulia Putintseva. The Brit has now lost in the first round of fourth straight French Opens.
“Actually, to be honest, I think the whole match really didn’t feel like a great match for me, quite honestly,” Konta to media. “It was just — I never really quite found my rhythm. I never really quite found the way I wanted to play. And I think, obviously, there’s some of that to do with her. I think she played quite smart. Otherwise, I think I just had a bad match.”
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina was a point away from dropping the opening set. Down 1-5 she won eight straight games to beat Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3.
She talked about how she turned the match around:
“She was striking the ball well. I was a little bit off, sometimes going for too much.”
“Found myself, and I was fighting to get back into the match, and I think for me it was very important, you know, to play an extra ball over the net, and then, you know, to fight, to fight until the end, you know, until the last point of the first set, to find my game, and this was the key.
“I think, you know, I did it pretty good, and then my level was getting better and better.”
Reigning US Open champion and French Open 10th seed Sloane Stephens made easy work of Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-0.
I mean, it’s always tough when you play a lefty, and then when they spin the serves and stuff, it’s a little bit tricky,” said Stephens. “But I adjusted my feet well and got used to it and was able to handle it.
After winning her first major last year at Flushing Meadows, Stephens had a losing streak.
“I had to take care of myself,” admitted the American. I tried to do way more than I should have after the U.S. Open, and I should have just shut it down. But like I’ve said before, my heart was there but my body wasn’t. So when the two things aren’t connected, it’s never a good thing.”