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Serena Williams succumbed to a dramatic 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat against world number 111 Virginie Razzano of France in the French Open first round.
It is the first time the fifth-seeded 2002 champion has lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam event.
"There is no excuse," admitted Williams after the match. "I made so many errors today. I just didn't play at all."
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Second seed Maria Sharapova, who has never reached the final, beat Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0 in only 48 minutes.
Williams was at the top of Sharapova's section of the draw and the two were expected to meet at the quarter-final stage.
But the 30-year-old American squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set tie-break and lost in three hours, three minutes.
Having lost six points in succession in that tie-break, Williams then conceded the first five games of the deciding set.
Razzano, who has never gone beyond the fourth round, was struggling with cramp and lost three games in a row, but in a 25-minute final game containing 12 deuces, the 29-year-old finally prevailed on her eighth match point.
"I just felt I couldn't get a ball in play. When I did, I just felt like I was hitting late and, I mean, how can you hit late on a clay court?" Williams said.
"I was definitely nervous, which I think is healthy, but there are no excuses."
A delighted Razzano thanked the boisterous home support at the end of the match.
"You [the crowd] gave me your energy. I'm gonna have to rest. Thank you all for your support," she said.Match stats
"I knew I had it in me and I dug deep inside myself to find it."
World number two Sharapova will next go up against Ayumi Morita of Japan, after she overcame Polona Hercog.
Sharapova, a semi-finalist in 2007 and again last year, has already won titles in Stuttgart and Rome this year and had few concerns against 22-year-old Cadantu, who has never beaten a player ranked in the top 60.
The French Open remains the only Grand Slam to elude Sharapova, who conceded only 18 points against world number 78 Cadantu, who did not hit a single winner.
"I feel like with every year I have improved and I enjoy it much more," the former world number one said. "I feel like I'm moving a lot better than I did in years previously, which has helped me a lot in the recovery process within the point."
Another former world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, the ninth seed this year, thrashed Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-0 6-1.
The 21-year-old Dane, who is yet to win a Grand Slam, plays Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia in round two.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova advanced with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win against Australian wildcard Ashleigh Barty, the youngest player in this year's draw, who only turned 16 last month.
The 22-year-old fourth seed, who has never progressed beyond the fourth round at the French Open, will now play Poland's Urszula Radwanska, who beat Pauline Parmentier of France 6-4 6-3.
Italian Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, beat 41-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, the third-oldest woman to play at Roland Garros in the professional era, 6-3 6-1.
Krumm hit 15 winners, two more than 31-year-old Schiavone, but was guilty of 35 unforced errors as the 14th seed booked a second round encounter with Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, who came from a set down to defeat Yanina Wickmayer of Bulgaria 3-6 6-0 6-3.
Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 22nd seed, beat Greta Arn of Hungary 6-4 6-4 and plays Anne Keothavong's conqueror Melinda Czink in the next round.
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Virginie Razzano, is a French professional tennis player. Razzano, who was born in Dijon, has won two WTA singles titles, both in 2007 in Guangzhou and Tokyo. Razzano reached her career high ranking of world no. wikipedia.org
Virginie Razzano (born 12 May 1983), is a French professional tennis player. Razzano, who was born in.Virginie Razzano - Players | WTA Tennis English
Players. Player Index; Head to Head; Tournaments. Active and Upcoming; Calendar; WTA Finals; Where to.Virginie Razzano | WTA Tennis
Coached by Bertrand de Ducla; physical coach is Bernard Cabassol, chiropractor is Jean-Michel Palasse .Virginie Razzano | TENNIS.com
France rallies past U.S. 3-2 in Fed Cup. Garcia beats Keys to level, then partners Razzano to 6-2, 7-5.Virginie Razzano - Tennis Explorer
ATP & WTA tennis players at Tennis Explorer offers profiles of the best tennis players and a database of.Virginie Razzano Tennis Stats - H2H Stats · MatchStat
Virginie Razzano player profile. The latest tennis stats including head to head stats for at.Virginie Razzano- The Championships, Wimbledon 2017 .
View the full player profile, include bio, stats and results for Virginie RazzanoVirginie Razzano - Sports Mole
News about Virginie Razzano on Sports Mole with the latest player news, biographical information.ITF Tennis - Pro Circuit - Player Profile - RAZZANO, Virginie .
The website of the International Tennis Federation, the world governing body of tennis - information on.Virginie Razzano Profile - Roland Garros 2017 - Official Site .
20 for 20: No. 19, Razzano d. Williams, 2012 French Open
Is it destiny? Is it fate? You decide. (AP)
Last year, for the 50th anniversary of TENNIS Magazine, we focused on the past. Given the tome of stories we’d told, and the trove of players and matches we’d witnessed over the past half-century, it was only natural to look back.
And it was comical to even consider doing something similar this year, for the 20th anniversary of TENNIS.com. So we’re taking the opposite approach, and instead focusing on the future. All throughout the week, we’ll be talking about what’s next for the sport, the website and much more.
It wouldn’t be an anniversary, though, without a countdown. But how do you count down events that haven’t yet happened? By predicting what will come to be.
With that said, we present TENNIS.com’s 20 for 20: Twenty matches that we’ll still be talking about twenty years from now. We’ve restricted this list to matches that have taken place in the last 10 years—or, as 20 for 20 author Steve Tignor has put it, “The Golden Decade.” (If you haven’t read our 50th Anniversary Moments or Tournament of Champions, also written by Steve, I implore you to do so.)
It has been a bountiful time for tennis since TENNIS.com’s inception, and it’s anyone’s guess what the next 20 years will bring. But we believe that each of these matches will sustain the test of time.—Ed McGrogan, Senior Editor2012 French Open, First round
It had been 10 years since Serena Williams had won at Roland Garros, but after dominating the clay season to the tune of 17 straight victories in the spring of 2012, she came to the French as the favorite. And that, it seemed, was part of the problem. She knew this was her chance, and it made her just a little bit nervous.
But surely not nervous enough to lose a first-round match at a Grand Slam, right? Williams was also riding an even more impressive streak when she arrived in Paris that year: She was 46-0 for her career in first-round matches at the majors. When she stepped onto Court Philippe Chatrier to face 29-year-old, 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France, it was looked like a lock that she would make it 47.
An hour and a half later, that lock appeared to be mortal. Williams had won the first set and was up 5-1 in the second-set tiebreaker. That’s when the match, with no warning, veered violently off script and into the land of the surreal. Razzano won six straight points to take the second set, and seven more to start the third.
By then, the French crowd, long resigned to their player’s defeat, had awoken. When Razzano stepped to the baseline to serve for the upset at 5-3, they were leaping out of their seats with each swing, and in a full, berserk, chair-banging roar. What they saw over the next 23 minutes was worthy of that roar. In a 12-deuce, 30-point game, Williams reached break point five times, while Razzano reached match point eight times. When Razzano was docked a point for grunting loudly in the middle of a rally, it felt like a riot might ensue in Chatrier. At times Razzano could barely get through her service motion, but on her eighth match point, she skipped to the net with joy and disbelief as a Williams backhand sailed long.
A year earlier, Razzano had lost her fiancé and coach, Stephane Vidal, to a brain tumor. Now she had pulled off one of the upsets of the century.
“I think now I did my mourning,” Razzano said. “I feel good today. It took time. So is it destiny? Is it fate? I don’t know. I just wanted to win that match.”
It would be the only one that Razzano would win in Paris that year. Two days after shaking up the world, she lost to Arantxa Rus before a small crowd on a side court.
As for Williams, she would turn that afternoon’s defeat into a victory that lasts to this day. Soon after, in search of advice and an explanation, she visited Patrick Mouratoglou at his tennis academy in Paris. The rest is tennis history.
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