Venus falls at first hurdle

Western Telegraph: Venus Williams crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round Venus Williams crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round

Five-time champion Venus Williams lost in the opening round at Wimbledon for the first time since the year she made her debut at the tournament.

The 32-year-old American was bundled out in straight sets by Russian Elena Vesnina, who claimed a fine 6-1 6-3 success on Court Two.

Williams' only previous experience of a first-round singles loss at Wimbledon came as a 17-year-old in 1997 when she was defeated by Polish player Magdalena Grzybowska.

Vesnina could hardly believe her achievement, with the 25-year-old dancing a jig of joy and all smiles after securing a second-round clash with number three seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Williams fell 5-0 behind in the opening set, against a player Britain's Heather Watson beat in the French Open first round last month.

She slowly improved but could not find a way to turn the match around.

Williams had game point for 3-3 in the second set but frittered it away by overshooting the baseline and Vesnina broke.

It was soon 5-2 as Vesnina held serve, and although Williams had a love game straight afterwards it was only delaying her opponent's charge.

Asked in her press conference whether she would be back at Wimbledon next year, Williams said: "I'm planning on it. I feel like I'm a great player. I am a great player.

"I'm up for challenges. There's no way I'm just going to give up. That's just not me."

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