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French Open Shocker: Williams Sisters Go Down in Upsets


It does not happen often, but when it does, it surprises and stings: Serena and Venus Williams lost on the same day. That it was the second round of the French Open makes it more startling.

Someone named Garbine Muguruza of Spain knocked off defending champion Serena Williams at Roland Garros on Wednesday, and rather easily, too: 6-2, 6-2.

This came not long after sister Venus Williams was ousted by someone named Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. If the sisters had won, they would have faced each other in the next round.

“It was one of those days,” Serena said.

The sisters had lost on the same day at a major tournament twice before, with the last time coming in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2011. The other time was at the French Open in 2008 in the third round.

Serena was off her game at the outset against Muguruza, 20, and finished the match with only eight winners and 29 unforced errors.

“Just nothing really worked,” Serena said. “I don’t know anything that actually worked … You can’t be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam. It happens, you know. It’s not the end of the world. It is what it is.”

Muguruza was playing at the French Open for only the second time in her career. She lost in the second round last year but reached the fourth round at the Australian Open in January.

Venus’ loss was the eighth time in her last nine major tournaments that she has failed to win more than one match.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion won the first set and was up an early break in the second. But 19-year-old Schmiedlova responded by taking eight of nine games.

“I felt like this was a match that I was most likely going to win,” Venus said. “I don’t know how Serena felt, but I’m sure she feels like that every time she goes on the court. So I think our expectation was to play in the next round.”

Since reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2011, Venus has been eliminated in the first or second round at every Grand Slam tournament she has played except the 2013 Australian Open, where she reached the third round.

At 33 years old, Venus is far from her best. But she has been having a solid season in 2014, winning a hard-court title in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and reaching the final in Auckland, New Zealand.

Against Schmiedlova, the 29th seed ended up with 47 unforced errors. Schmiedlova had only 20.

Venus won the last of her seven major titles at Wimbledon in 2008. She has never won the French Open but lost to Serena in the 2002 final in their only meeting at Roland Garros.

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