News

Venus falls at first hurdle in Cincinnati

Venus falls at first hurdle in Cincinnati

TENNIS: Lucie Safarova celebrates during the match against Venus Williams on day two of the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Venus Williams, fresh off a stirring run to last week’s Montreal final, ran out of gas in Cincinnati as she fell 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-4 to 16th seeded Czech Lucie Safarova in first-round action at the Western and Southern Open on Tuesday.

Williams, who beat her top-ranked younger sister Serena to reach the Rogers Cup final where she fell to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, looked ready to make another run in Cincinnati after taking the opening set in a tiebreak.

But the seven-times grand slam champion could not manage to convert any of four break chances in the second while Safarova converted her one and only opportunity to level the match.

Safarova, a Wimbledon semifinalist, stepped up the pressure in the third with two more breaks to clinch her first win in five career meetings against the 34-year-old American.

“It was definitely a quick turnaround, maybe would have been a little better to play a little later in the day,” said Williams, back in top 20 for first time since March 2013 following her runner-up finish at Montreal.

“But she just played so well. No matter what shot I hit she hit a winner, or if I hit it really deep she somehow managed to control it down the line.”

Spanish 15th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, an upset winner over Maria Sharapova in Montreal, was also made to work for her spot in the second round needing three-sets to tame Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3 1-6 6-2.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

Orangutan is a big fan of this mom-to-be

Fresh
24-overlay16

This pregnant woman's trip to the zoo was a one-of-a-kind experience.

in Music

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s divorce under scrutiny

blakesheltonmirandalambert

Oklahoma attorneys are questioning whether a judge has violated state law by sealing the court documents related to the divorce of the country superstars.

in Music

Little Big Town scrap more shows

littlebigtown

The "Girl Crush" hitmakers canceled a string of summer shows last month after doctors found a polyp on Jimi Westbrook's vocal cords.

in Entertainment

‘Empire’ co-stars reportedly engaged

gracegealey

Trai Byers and Grace Gealey are reportedly engaged to be married just months after reports of their off-screen romance surfaced.

in Entertainment

Melissa McCarthy producing TV series about her rise to fame

melissamccarthybenfalcone

"Friends With Melissa" is inspired by the "Bridesmaids" star's early years as a comedian and writer.