Former world no. 1 Venus Williams lost in the opening round of the 2021 French Open on Tuesday. Ekaterina Alexandrova, the 32nd-seeded Russian, ousted the 40-year-old 6-3, 6-1 in just 56 minutes.
Williams won 45% of her first-serve points and just 19% points off her second serves. In comparison, the Russian won 71% of her first-serve points and 50% points off her second serves. Alexandrova had thrice as many winners as Williams – 18 to six. She finished the match with 19 unforced errors, four fewer than Williams.
Following this loss, Williams is on a four-match losing streak – going back to the Miami Open. In the seven tournaments, she’s played this season, she’s won only two matches – in the first rounds of the Yarra Valley Classic and the Australian Open, in January.
Meanwhile, in Paris, in the second round, Alexandrova will take on Barbora Krejcikova.
French Open: Mixed bag of results for Frenchwomen
France’s Kristina Mladenovic moved into the second round with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Mladenovic hit 26 winners to Schmiedlova’s six and had 35 unforced errors to her rival’s 25.
In the second round, Mladenovic will play 30th seed Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian needed two hours and 15 minutes to get past Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic. Kontaveit lost the opening set to Golubic but before bouncing back to post a 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-0 victory.
Poland’s Magda Linette will play world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty for a place in the third round. Linette defeated French wildcard Chloe Paquet 6-3, 6-3 in the first round in an hour and 27 minutes.
Qiang Wang of China notched a comeback win of her own at the French Open against Chinese Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh. Wang lost the opening set 2-6 but held firm to thwart Hsieh. After two hours and 25 minutes of play, Wang won 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. In the second round, Wang will either play 24th seed Coco Gauff or Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic.
Photo Credit: Roland Garros Twitter