Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Venus Williams crashes out in Wimbledon first round

Williams lost in the opening round at Wimbledon for the first time since making her debut 15 years ago.

Story highlights

  • Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams suffers first-round loss
  • Williams loses 6-1 6-3 to Russia's Elena Vesnina but quashes retirement talk
  • Early victories in women's draw for Maria Sharapova and China's Li Na
  • Qualifier Carmila Giorgi beats Italian compatriot and No. 16 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-3

Five-time champion Venus Williams went out in the opening round of Wimbledon for the first time as she slumped to a 6-1 6-3 loss to Russia's Elena Vesnina.

The former world number one started the match with two double faults and was never able to match the energy of Vesnina, ranked 79 in the world.

Williams came into the match on the back of her toughest year in tennis following a six-month break battling Sjogren's Syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes chronic fatigue and joint pain.

She was unseeded at the All England Club for the first time since her debut in 1997, having dropped to 58 in the world rankings.

Djokovic and Federer cruise through in men's singles

However, Venus quashed talk of retirement following the defeat.

      Just Watched

      Becker: Venus Williams' future in doubt

    Becker: Venus Williams' future in doubt 02:18
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Janko Tipsarevic's goal for Wimbledon

    Janko Tipsarevic's goal for Wimbledon 02:42
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Andy Murray's secret weapon

    Andy Murray's secret weapon 03:19
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Kvitova and Navratilova's Wimbledon

    Kvitova and Navratilova's Wimbledon 07:06
    PLAY VIDEO

    "There's no way I'm going to give up. I love this sport," the American said in her post-match press conference.

    "I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. The only thing I can do is be positive."

    Williams was the most high-profile casualty so far of an opening day in which most of the women's seeds came through unscathed.

    Current world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, fresh from her victory at the French Open earlier this month, began her assault on the title she won as a teenager in 2004 with a 6-2 6-3 win over Australian Anastasia Rodionova.

    Game, set and match: What Wimbledon says about the British

    The No. 3 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland, wasted little time in wrapping up a 6-3 6-3 win over Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.

    Australia's Samantha Stosur, the No. 5 seed, beat Carla Suarez Navarro, from Spain, 6-1 6-3.

    China's Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion, quickly wrapped up a 6-3 6-1 win over Ksenia Pervak from Kazakhstan while Sabine Lisicki, the German No. 15 seed, recorded a 6-4 6-2 victory over Petra Martic.

    Two-time champion Kim Clijsters, playing in her last Wimbledon, beat former world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2 6-4.

    One upset of the afternoon came courtesy of Italian qualifier Carmila Giorgi, who beat compatriot and No. 16 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-3, while No. 27 seed Daniela Hantuchova was beaten 6-4 7-6 by American Jamie Lee Hampton.

      Tennis

    • 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?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      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.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • "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.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.