Pre-tournament favorite and 13-times grand-slam champion Serena Williams slumped to a shock 4-6 7-6 6-3 defeat against Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday.
The fifth-seeded American was two points from victory at 5-1 up in the second set tiebreak but her game inexplicably collapsed as she lost six points in a row to lose the set.
Razzano, ranked 111th, held her nerve in the ninth game of the final set which lasted 25 minutes to win the contest on her eighth match point, handing Williams her first ever first round defeat at a grand slam.
On Friday, Serena said she is as committed to tennis now as she has ever been during the course of her career, with her sister Venus’s battle against illness a particular inspiration to her.
The 30-year-old American has won just a single title at Roland Garros, lifting the French Open crown in 2002 when she defeated her older sister in the final.
“I think in general I have much better commitment in tennis. I just am really 100%,” the 13-time Grand Slam champion said.
“I love being on the court now. I love every moment. This is what I live for. After going through everything that I went through, I really kind of appreciate every moment more, especially being out on the court.”