American Sloane Stephens must know something about the Williams sisters because she always performs so well against them. She eliminated Venus Williams at the French Open, 7-6 (7), 6-1.
Williams and Stephens played at even strength during the first set. It was fierce and intense, completely made to be a classic no matter who won. Both exchanged breaks and eventually went back on serve. Stephens managed to force the tie-break and even came back down 1-3 to win the set.
The classic feel did not last into the second set. Stephens wore out Williams in the first set as she dominated the court. She broke Williams twice, scored two aces, and only committed four unforced errors. Williams was out of steam and looked like an amateur. She committed 13 unforced errors.
However, Williams faces more problems since she did not meet the press after the match. It is required for all players to attend a press conference after they finish their matches. Grand Slam officials meet on Tuesday to discuss the incident. Williams may be fined for her no-show. She did release a statement, saying Stephens “just played better than me today.”
“I feel like I had some good practices coming into Roland Garros,” she said. “But sometimes things don’t always work out the way you would like.”
This is the second time in three years Williams lost in the first round at the French Open. Stephens first shot into the spotlight when she beat Serena Williams at the 2013 Australian Open.