Skip to main content

Serena Williams dumped out in French Open first round by home favorite

May 30, 2012 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
Serena Williams fell at the first hurdle in a grand slam tournament for the first time in her illustrious career
Serena Williams fell at the first hurdle in a grand slam tournament for the first time in her illustrious career
  • Serena Williams knocked out in first round of French Open by Virginie Razzano
  • It is the first time Williams has ever lost in the first round at a major championship
  • Maria Sharapova beats Romanian Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0 in just 48 minutes
  • Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beats Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-2

(CNN) -- Serena Williams suffered the embarrassment of being knocked out in the opening round of a grand slam tournament for the first time in her illustrious career after defeat to Virginie Razzano at the French Open.

The 13-time major champion lost an epic three-hour duel 4-6 7-6 6-3 to her unseeded French opponent, who suffered from cramp through most of the match.

It was Williams' 47th grand slam tournament and her earliest exit since sister Venus beat her in the second round of her first major -- the Australian Open in 1998.

Razzano, the world 111, squandered seven match points in a final game that lasted over 20 minutes and was penalized twice for crying out in pain during a rally.

Career girl: Maria Sharapova's sweet plan for success

But despite being hampered by her injury she managed to close out the game, backed by a vociferous home crowd, and shrieked in delight as she recorded the biggest victory of her career.

Sharapova ready for tough clay challenge
Ana Ivanovic 'hungry' for more success
Piers plays tennis with Serena Williams
Victoria Azarenka targets 2012 success
A tour of Monaco with Daniela Hantuchova

The 29-year-old lost her fiancee and coach Stephane Vidal after a long battle with cancer prior to last year's tournament. She will now face Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus in the second round.

"I fought until the end," she said in a courtside interview. "You (the crowd) gave me your energy. I'm going have to rest. Thank you all for your support."

"I'm disappointed, but that's life, things could be worse," said Williams. "I've been through so much in my life. I'm not sitting here happy. I've got to figure out what I did wrong and not do it again. I fought until the end."

Maria Sharapova took just 48 minutes to book her place in the second round beating Romania's Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0.

The world No.2 is seeking to complete a career slam with victory at Roland Garros -- the only major championship she is yet to win.

Sharapova has only been beaten once on clay all season, in the Madrid Open final, and has taken titles in both Stuttgart and Rome leading into the tournament in Paris.

And the Russian looked in merciless mood on Court Suzanne Lenglen as she set up a second round clash with Japan's Ayumi Morita.

"Nothing is ever easy, because you have to face whoever is across the net," Sharapova told a press conference.

"No matter how good or bad they're playing, you still have to win that match. That was just my goal today.

"I'm really happy with the way my preparation has been coming into this tournament. I feel like with every year I've improved and enjoy it much more.

"Every year I learn a lot more about the game and point construction. I feel like I'm moving a lot better than I did years previously, which has helped me a lot in the recovery process within the point.

"All of that gives me a lot of confidence for this tournament."

"It's been a solid year. I started the year off on a really good note. I was healthy. I had a pretty good off-season, I would say. I was practicing well.

"It hasn't actually been as long as I've wanted it to be because of the ankle, but I started off with really good, high energy. I was really positive, and it's paying off."

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the No. 4 seed, also enjoyed a comfortable passage into round two.

The Czech defeated 16-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour and will face Poland's Urszula Radwanska in the next round.

The 2010 champion, Francesca Schiavone of Italy, enjoyed a 6-3 6-1 victory over Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.

Britain's Heather Watson enjoyed a 6-2 6-4 victory over Russia's Elena Vesnina and she will now face Germany's No. 25 seed Julia Goerges.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.