French Open 2018: Venus Williams stunned by Wang Qiang; Alexander Zverev cruises into second round

The ninth seed was well short of her best as Wang claimed a 6-4, 7-5 victory and gained a measure of revenge for her first-round loss to Venus at Roland Garros last year.

AFP May 27, 2018 22:53:56 IST
French Open 2018: Venus Williams stunned by Wang Qiang; Alexander Zverev cruises into second round

Paris: Former World No 1 Venus Williams suffered a shock defeat by Chinese player Wang Qiang in the French Open first round on Sunday.

The 37-year-old ninth seed was well short of her best as Wang claimed a 6-4, 7-5 victory and gained a measure of revenge for her first-round loss to Venus at Roland Garros last year.

French Open 2018 Venus Williams stunned by Wang Qiang Alexander Zverev cruises into second round

Venus Williams reacts as she plays Qiang Wang. AP

The seven-time Grand Slam champion has now lost both her matches at major tournaments this year, having reached the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals in 2017.

Wang, the World No 91, has never made the third round of a Slam and will face Petra Martic of Croatia for a place in the last 32 after the biggest win of her career.

World No 9 Venus will now turn her attention to playing the doubles tournament with her sister Serena, who is competing in a Grand Slam event for the first time since last year's Australian Open after giving birth to her daughter.

Second seed Alexander Zverev got his French Open title bid off to the perfect start with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis on Sunday.

The 21-year-old, who arrived at Roland Garros on a hot streak of form after titles in Munich and Madrid before an Italian Open final loss to Rafael Nadal, stormed to victory in only an hour and 10 minutes.

Zverev lost in the first round last year to Fernando Verdasco, but the German confidently avoided a repeat and enhanced his credentials as a serious threat to Nadal's hopes of an 11th title.

The World No 3 did not face a single break point in the match and broke his 92nd-ranked opponent's serve seven times in a totally one-sided contest.

Zverev, who has never reached a Grand Slam quarter-final, will meet either Czech Jiri Vesely or Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the second round.

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