Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stunned Serena Close to Tears as She Hits the Rocks; Shocker: Serena Williams Has Only Once before Failed to Reach the Fourth Round at Roland Garros

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stunned Serena Close to Tears as She Hits the Rocks; Shocker: Serena Williams Has Only Once before Failed to Reach the Fourth Round at Roland Garros

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

FORMER champion Serena Williams today crashed out of the French Open tobecome the highest ranked women's casualty and admitted: "I missed a lot ofeasy shots." While Williams departed, top seed Maria Sharapova and AnaIvanovic, the second seed, reached the third and fourth rounds respectively.

Williams, who seemed close to tears in her press conference, refused to blame aback injury that still requires daily treatment for her lacklustre 6-4, 6-4loss to 27th seed Katarina Srebotnik, of Slovenia, who is one of the world'stop doubles players.

Srebotnik has lost her previous three meetings with Williams, an eight-timeGrand Slam singles champion, and only had to keep the ball in court and waitfor the American to make one of her many awful errors.

The American hit 25 in all, compared to 18 by Srebotnik.

Williams, making her earliest exit in Paris since 1999, volleyed so badly attimes that the ended up bouncing yards wide of the court.

It was fitting she gave Srebotnik a second set service break with a drop shotthat not only did not get over the net it barely reached the bottom of it..

It was a shoddy display that will force the 26-year-old to spend even longer onthe practice courts as she prepares for Wimbledon.

Williams tried to talk up her opponent after the loss and said: "On a lot ofkey points I felt like could have turned the match around, but I wasn't able tocapitalise on my chances.

"She was just making some shots that I don't think she's ever made before, orelse she probably would be in the top two. She just played unbelievably welltoday." Ivanovic was in much better form on Court Philippe Chatrier, where shedefeated Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki,the 30th seed, 6-4 , 6-1.

Sharapova lost the second set that was halted last night because of bad lightbut was still too good for Bethanie Mattek, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray (right) goes into today's tough encounter with 19th seedNicolas Almagro with an endorsement from his brother Jamie ringing in his ears. …

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