A feline court invader interrupted the match between Venus Williams and Diana Shnaider.
CNN  — 

Venus Williams’ first-round Miami Open defeat to Diana Shnaider was interrupted by a court-invading cat on Tuesday as the seven-time grand slam winner was beaten 6-3 6-3 in an hour and 19 minutes.

The cat made its way onto the court as Williams was getting ready to serve during the second set, drawing surprised laughs from the crowd.

“There is a cat crossing the court,” the umpire announced to more laughter.

It’s the second animal invasion of a tennis tournament in the space of a week following the swarm of bees that interrupted Carlos Alcaraz and Alex Zverev’s Indian Wells quarterfinal last Thursday.

It is also the second time a feline invader has stolen the show on a tennis court this season after a ginger cat had Emma Raducanu in stitches as it ran across the court ahead of her Abu Dhabi Open match against Ons Jabeur.

Shnaider defeated Williams in straight sets, 6-3 6-3.

Williams, who at 43 years old was the oldest player in the draw, was making a record-breaking 22nd appearance at the Miami Open but was beaten by a teenage opponent making her tournament debut.

Shnaider, 19, won her first WTA Tour title at the Thailand Open at the beginning of February and reached another final at the Fifth Third Charleston last week.

Williams struggled to find consistency throughout the contest but did show flashes of her old form early in the first and second sets.

However, the three-time Miami Open winner has been beset by injuries of late and has played just two matches this year after returning from seven months out.

Williams managed to play just four matches in 2022 and 10 in 2023 and, as a result, has fallen to world No. 457.

This match was Williams’ 85th in the main draw of the Miami Open, drawing level with her sister Serena’s tournament record, according to the WTA.

Shnaider will now face 17th seed Madison Keys in the second round.