Sports

Shock tango in Paris

Muguruza stuns Serena on awful day for Williams' family

Paris lover Serena Williams, the world No. 1 and defending champion, suffered heartache at the French Open when she was sent packing after a shock 6-2, 6-2 defeat by Spain's Garbine Muguruza yesterday.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion from the United States never got into her stride against the 20-year-old world No. 35, who claimed the greatest victory of her life.

To cap off a miserable day for the Williams' family, sister Venus was also knocked out as the two American superstars lost at a Major on the same day for only the fourth time.

"Of course it's amazing, I did not expect that. Today is a great day," said Muguruza, in a courtside interview moments after her stunning performance.

"I'm very happy," she then shouted at the crowd.

Williams, 32, failed to hold serve in the second set, which confirmed the impression of the opener, during which Muguruza sent the American chasing the ball in every corner.

Williams bowed out after 64 minutes, having never looked in a position to unsettle Muguruza, whose best result in a Grand Slam was at this year's Australian Open when she reached the fourth round.

The top seeded Williams had not been knocked out of a Grand Slam before the fourth round since she lost in the first round of the French Open two years ago.

"Nothing actually worked, I just can't serve," said Williams, with a smile. "It was one of those days, you can't be on (your game) every day."

It was the earliest exit for a defending champion at Roland Garros since 2005 when Anastasia Myskina of Russia went out in the first round.

With the defeat, the women's draw has been blown wide open as Williams joins second seed Li Na of China on the list of casualties.

It was the first time in the Open era that the top two seeds had failed to get past the second round at a Grand Slam event.

Williams refused to blame her defeat on the windy conditions on yet another chilly day in Paris, a city she has a special relationship with.

She has a French coach in Patrick Mouratoglou, owns an apartment in Paris and loves to shop in the French capital, which she considers her second home.

"It's not easy. I love it here, but there's always next year. At least I won't have any points to defend next year, so I look forward to it," she said.

Until then, she vowed to be back in training, harder than ever.

"It's great, because I'm going to go home and work five times as hard to make sure I never lose again," she said.

"I want to win and I want to be the best, that's my whole goal.

"But it's great sometimes to get knocked down because you have to get back up. I love getting back up. I love the challenge.

"I haven't gotten past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year," added Williams, whose last Grand Slam title was at Roland Garros last year.

"I have a couple of words to describe it, but I think that would be really inappropriate so I'm going to leave it at that." - Wire Services.


I played her I think two years ago and was horrible, because I was so nervous so I said, ‘okay, this time I’m not going to think I’m playing against Serena, I’m going to do what I have to do’. That’s what I was thinking all the match.

— Garbine Muguruza on her victory