London, England (Sports Network) - Fading five-time champion Venus Williams
suffered a first-round loss at Wimbledon for the first time in 15 years on
The former world No. 1 succumbed to Russian Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-3 on Court 2
at the storied All England Club. Vesnina cruised past a listless Williams in
seven games in the first set and got the break she needed for a 4-2 lead in
the second and never looked back.
The 32-year-old Williams titled here in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008 and
is a three-time Wimbledon runner-up.
She's now 71-11 at tennis' most prestigious event.
"Give credit to her, she played very well," Williams said of Vesnina.
The 25-year-old Vesnina reached the fourth round at Wimbledon three years ago.
Williams has played sparingly over the last year after being diagnosed with
Sjogren's syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and
Meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska, Samantha Stosur, Li Na and Sabine Lisicki
were a slew of seeded players advancing on Day 1.
The third-seeded Radwanska earned a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Slovakia's
Magdalena Rybarikova, while Stosur, the fifth seed and reigning U.S. Open
champion, eased past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-1, 6-3. The 11th-seeded
former French Open champ Li thumped Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-1, and
Lisicki, a semifinalist last year at the All England Club, cruised to a 6-4,
6-2 victory over Croatia's Petra Martic.
Italy's Camila Giorgi provided the first upset of the tournament with a 6-4,
6-3 win over 16th-seeded countrymate Flavia Pennetta.
The Sports Network