Venus Williams Remains Winless at Grand Slams this Season as She Crashes Out of French Open 2020

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Venus Williams suffered another early loss at a Grand Slam event with a first-round loss at the French Open 2020. Unseeded at Roland Garros this year, Williams succumbed to a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to another unseeded player Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

This is Venus Williams’ third straight first-round loss at the French Open. She also remains without a win in her last three Grand Slam events. To add to her woes, Williams has won just one match in her last six Grand Slam appearances.

Williams will enter the 2021 season with just one match win since September 2019. If the WTA rankings had not been frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic, Williams would be languishing around 550 in the rankings after the French Open.

Set 1: Venus Williams starts strongly, Schmiedlova shows her skills

Williams started quite strongly in cold and windy conditions at the French Open in Paris. The first three games were on serve before the older Williams sister broke serve for a 3-1 lead. Schmiedlova back right away, before a third consecutive break of serve in the match saw Williams take a 4-2 lead.

What followed next was a fantastic display of grit from Schmiedlova. She broke right back once again and held soon for 4-4. Williams serve accuracy dipped as Schmiedlova earned another break of serve.

Williams challenged her in the next game, but the gritty Slovakian saved a break-point and won the game to take the opening set.

Venus Williams hits a shot against Victoria Azarenka in the Italian Open 2020
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka |REUTERS

Set 2: Schmiedlova prevails in a topsy-turvy encounter

Schmiedlova started the second set by winning her fifth consecutive game and 4th consecutive break of serve. This time, Williams answered strongly to level things.

Schmiedlova’s momentum could not be easily negated though. She won three straight games once again to take a big 4-1 lead with two breaks of serve. In a match that saw ten breaks of serve in all in testing and unusual conditions at Roland Garros, Williams earned back one of the service breaks.

Venus Williams in action at Italian Open 2020
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 16, 2020 Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

It seemed like Williams would use her experience and forge a comeback, but Schmiedlova showed her mental strength as well. The youngster held to take a 5-3 lead before Williams saved two match points and held to force Schmiedlova to serve for the match.

The 40-year-old seven-time Grand Slam winner started aggressively in the 10th game, taking a 15-30 lead. However, Schmiedlova once again held her nerve and was also helped by a couple of unforced errors from Venus Williams.

Schmiedlova closed out the match with a fantastic forehand winner up the line to book her place in the next round.

Venus Williams finished with 47 unforced errors.

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