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French Open Is Hit by 2 Big Shocks

Serena Williams and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka are out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2019 3:30 PM CDT
Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts when missing a point and losing the first set during her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic at the Roland...   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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(Newser) – Maybe it was the daunting deficit Serena Williams faced in the French Open's third round. Maybe it was the way her 20-year-old American opponent, Sofia Kenin, was questioning line calls. Either way, as Williams attempted to start a comeback Saturday with a three-ace game, she followed those big serves with some serious staredowns. Whether it was meant to get herself going or intimidate Kenin, it didn't work. Outplayed from start to finish, Williams lost 6-2, 7-5 to the 35th-ranked Kenin, ending her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title with her earliest loss at a major tournament in five years, the AP reports. "In that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven't played anyone like that in a long time," the 37-year-old Williams said. "I just saw a player that was playing unbelievable."

It was the second significant surprise in a matter of hours: Earlier in the day, No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka was eliminated 6-4, 6-2 by 42nd-ranked Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic. That ended Osaka's 16-match Grand Slam winning streak, which included titles at the US Open final in September—when she beat Williams in the final—and at the Australian Open in January. Osaka was trying to become the first woman to win three consecutive major trophies since Williams grabbed four in a row in 2014-15, a run that was preceded by a second-round loss at Roland Garros and a third-round loss at Wimbledon. (A controversial 2018 match between Williams and Osaka inspired a "racist" cartoon and angered umpires.)


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