Serena Williams was not at her best today in Roland Garros. The former world number 1 struggled in the first set against the young American Sofia Kenin, and that first set loss led to a straight set defeat 6-2 7-5 in just over an hour and a half of tennis.
20 year old Sofia Kenin was impressive in the first set, not allowing Williams to settle. The youngster broke Williams three times, with an impressive array of drop shots and passing winners.
Kenin was not intimidated by Williams, who although not playing at her best, did create moments of magic. The world number 10 could not cope with the up and coming American, who has been watching Williams ever since she was a girl. Kenin dealt with 10 Serena aces and had none of her own but was still stronger on serve than Williams who won just over 60% of her first serve points and was forced to save 7 of the 11 break points she faced.
Williams far from her best was still a tough opponent and Kenin had to use all her skills and shot making to stun the former world number 1 for the biggest win of her career.
Serena is always tough to beat, however the youngster showed her mettle by not letting the occasion or the French crowd get to her. Kenin faced booing from the crowd, as she queried calls.
Williams was broken in the second set by the young American, but managed to get the break back to bring it level again. Kenin stayed with Serena, and got the break again to come and and serve for the match under tense conditions. Kenin survived the pressure moments to secure a clutch win, ending Serena’s bid to tie Margaret Court’s all time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, Serena remains at 23 slam titles with Wimbledon next. Kenin is in the running for her first slam title.
Serena was unable to break back, although pushed the young American close in the final game. The 20-year-old has not made any friends in Paris by knocking out the three times champion.
Even during her on court interview, the crowd were not very friendly towards Kenin. There was not much applause or cheering for the youngster. In what was only her third top ten win, the young American has stopped Williams from equalling the slam record held by Margaret Court.
The match was not a classic, but Kenin played out of her skin. Knowing where to put the ball, when to drop shot. Figuring out when Serena would come into the net and playing awesome passing shots.