Reuters – Twenty-three times major champion Serena Williams suffered the worst loss of her storied career on Tuesday (July 31), falling 6-1 6-0 to Britain’s Johanna Konta in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, United States.
After a routine hold to start the match, Williams lost the next 12 games in a one-sided affair that lasted less than an hour, stunning the partisan crowd of 3,000 at San Jose State University.
Those expecting to see Williams continue to battle back after a difficult childbirth last year were left disappointed as the 36-year-old committed 25 unforced errors to Konta’s nine and managed to put just 41 percent of her first serves into play. Williams, who lost the Wimbledon final earlier this month to German Angelique Kerber, had never lost a match before where she did not win at least two games since turning pro in 1995.
As poorly as Williams played, the 27-year-old Konta was sharp, firing six aces and smacking 17 winners to Williams’ nine while controlling the tempo of the match. With the loss, Williams falls to 11-4 since returning to the tour and will look to bounce back when she competes in the Cincinnati Open starting on August 13, another hard court tune-up ahead of the U.S. Open later in the month.
Konta will face American teenager Sofia Kenin in the second round.