Venus Williamshits a return to Elena Vesnina of Russia during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London. — Photo Reuters

WIMBLEDON: Five-time champion Venus Williams lost in the opening round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1997, falling 6-1, 6-3 to Elena Vesnina of Russia on Monday.

Williams had lost in the second round at the French Open, her first Grand Slam action since Aug. 29, 2011, at the US Open — two days later, she pulled out of her second-round match at that tournament, revealing that she'd been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

The unseeded Williams lost the first five games Monday. She put up more of a fight in the second set but was broken in the sixth game when she missed a forehand. Vesnina clinched the match with a service winner.

Williams was making her 16th straight appearance at Wimbledon and had not lost in the first round since her debut.

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Comments (1)

Rosy
June 25, 2012 8:46 pm
Hmmm...I thought she may have strong genes for a female and remain competitive into her 30s but doesn't seem like it.
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