Serena Williams stunned by Sofia Kenin at French Open

Serena Williams stunned by Sofia Kenin at French Open

Serena Williams's quest for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title was put on hold on Saturday after the former world number one was knocked out of the French Open in the third round following a 6-2 7-5 defeat by fellow American Sofia Kenin.

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 27, 2019.

It was Williams' earliest Grand Slam exit since 2014 and the 37-year-old now has a month to prepare for Wimbledon.

But that seems likely to change now after beating the No. 10 player in the world, especially if she continues her run at the French Open after beating Williams, a three-time champ at Roland Garros.

"I am glad I came", Williams said.

Generous with her words for Kenin, Williams said she had come up against a 20-year-old player who was in "unbelievable" form.

Kenin was certainly impressive, in keeping with her rapid rise up the rankings this season, but Williams was also considerably slower to react to her opponent's shots than normal.

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 to end Osaka's 16-match Grand Slam winning streak.

Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted Serena Williams was playing through the pain barrier at the French Open. "I feel like she, in that first set in particular, hit pretty much inches from the line".

"I hope I have time go get fit for Wimbledon".

"I could see that she's not so confident like she was", Siniakova said of Osaka.

"Serena is such a great champion and I have all the respect for her". Her first major back was last year's French Open, where she withdrew before a fourth-round match because of a chest muscle injury. I really wanted to be here.

Despite giving her best, Serena lacked speed and the first strike that would give her the initial advantage in the rallies, counting to 30 winners and 34 unforced errors and playing some loose forehands in the pivotal moments for just one break from seven opportunities.

"I'm so happy with this win - obviously you can tell with these emotions", Kenin told the crowd through tears on Philippe Chatrier.

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