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Unheralded Garbine too good for Serena

- Federer & Djokovic cruise; Venus crashes out

Paris: Defending champion and world No. 1 Serena Williams was shocked 2-6, 2-6 by Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the French Open second round on Wednesday, an hour after her elder sister Venus was ousted at the second Grand Slam of the year.

But Maria Sharapova, last year’s losing finalist, and Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest surviving women’s seed at three, won on a day when long sleeves and leggings were needed to ward off the Paris chill. While Sharapova prevailed 7-5, 6-2 over Tsvetana Pironkova, Radwanska defeated Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.

The big names on the men’s side of the draw suffered no problems in reaching the third round. Novak Djokovic, the second seed, despatched Jeremy Chardy of France 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 while Roger Federer, seeded fourth, won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 against Diego Sebastian Schwartzman of Argentina, a player he had never seen before.

In men’s doubles, sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi overcame a stiff challenge from Divij Sharan and Rameez Junaid. They won 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-5.

On a chilly day in Paris, Serena never looked the force which has won 17 major titles. The 20-year-old Muguruza broke Serena’s serve twice early in the first set and made the most of a series of unforced errors by the leaden-footed American.

The Spaniard, ranked 35 in the world, did not release the pressure and the match became a repeat of the nightmare of 2012, when Serena lost in the first round, not the glory of 2013 when she beat Maria Sharapova in the final here.

A netted return from Serena sent the Spaniard into ecstasy and even Serena’s mother, Oracene, smiled as Muguruza leapt about the court. “Of course, it’s amazing,” Muguruza said. “I had to be really aggressive and focused. “Today is a great day. I’m so happy,” the Spaniard shouted.

Later Muguruza told a news conference: “She (Serena) said that if I continue playing like this, I can win the tournament. I said: ‘I will try, I will try’.

Serena was philosophical, saying: “I don’t think anything worked for me today. It was just one of those days, you can’t be on (your game) every day. It’s not the end of the world, there’s always next year.”

After the defeat of China’s Li Na in the first round on Tuesday, it is the first time since tennis turned professional in 1968 that the top two women’s seeds have failed to reach the third round at a Grand Slam.

It is also the third time, after 2004 and 2008, that both Williams sisters have lost on the same day at the French Open. Chardy, who beat Federer at the Rome Masters earlier this month, spelled out why Djokovic is fancied to end eight-time champion Rafa Nadal’s reign here.

“He was simply stronger than me, bigger than me in all compartments. You’re always under pressure. He knows everything. He can do everything.”

Czech Tomas Berdych, the sixth seed, started slowly before beating Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. The Williams sisters had been due to meet in the third round but that was knocked off the agenda when Venus became the first seed to lose in the second round, falling 6-2, 3-6, 4-6 to Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia.

The 29th seed, wearing long sleeves in temperatures of 14 Celsius, has never won the claycourt Grand Slam in 16 visits and, now 32, she may have to accept she never will. Schmiedlova, aged 19 and ranked 56 in the world, wasted two match points on Venus’s serve before the American hit wide to set up a third, and the Slovak clinched the match with a fine backhand cross court shot. Flavia Pennetta of Italy, seeded 12th, joined the Williams sisters in heading for the exit after going down 7-5, 4-6, 2-6 to Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

Eugenie Bouchard, the 18th seed, recovered from a slow start to beat Julia Goerges of Germany in three sets.

On the men’s side, Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the 15th seed, lost 6-0, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to Czech Radek Stepanek before Spain’s Marcel Granollers overturned a two-set deficit to beat 20th seed Alexandr Dologopolov of Ukraine 1-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2. (Agencies)

Day IIi Results

Men’s Singles

Round I
David Ferrer (5, Esp) bt Igor Sijsling (Ned) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1; Andy Murray (7, GBR) bt Andrey Golubev (Kaz) 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Ivo Karlovic (Cro) bt Grigor Dimitrov (11, Bul) 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (4); Richard Gasquet (12, Fra) bt Bernard Tomic (Aus) 6-2, 6-1, 7-5; Jurgen Zopp (Est) bt Tommy Haas (16, Ger) 2-5, retired; Kevin Anderson (19, SA) bt Stephane Robert (Fra) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4; Jack Sock (US) bt Nicolas Almagro (21, Esp) 5-0, retired; Gael Monfils (23, Fra) bt Victor Hanescu (Rom) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Fernando Verdasco (24, Esp) bt Michael Llodra (Fra) 6-2, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3); Philipp Kohlschreiber (28, Ger) bt Pere Riba (Esp) 7-5, 6-4, 6-1; Andreas Seppi (32, Ita) bt Santiago Giraldo (Col) 6-3, 7-5, 6-3

Women’s singles

Round I
Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt Li Na (2, Chn) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1; Simona Halep (4, Rom) bt Alisa Kleybanova (Rus) 6-0, 6-2; Jelena Jankovic (6, Srb) bt Sharon Fichman (Can) 5-7, 6-1, 6-3; Ana Ivanovic (11, Srb) bt Caroline Garcia (Fra) 6-1, 6-3; Yanina Wickmayer (Bel) bt Caroline Wozniacki (13, Den) 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2; Sloane Stephens (15, US) bt Peng Shuai (Chn) 6-4, 7-6 (8); Kirsten Flipkens (21, Bel) bt Danka Kovinic (Mon) 7-6 (6), 6-2; Ekaterina Makarova (22, Rus) bt Shelby Rogers (US) 6-2, 6-3; Lucie Safarova (23, Cze) bt Mandy Minella (Lux) 6-3, 7-5; Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (24, Rus) bt Kimiko Date-Krumm (Jpn) 6-3, 0-6, 6-2; Sorana Cirstea (26, Rom) bt Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-2; Svetlana Kuznetsova (27, Rus) bt Sofia Shapatava (Geo) 6-3, 6-1; Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (Esp) bt Klara Koukalova (30, Cze) 7-6 (4), 6-2

Note: Seeded players only