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Venus Williams knocked out in Roland Garros opener

Venus Williams suffered a third successive first round exit at the French Open on Sunday as she lost in straight sets to Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

The 40-year-old Williams, runner-up at Roland Garros to sister Serena in 2002, was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by an opponent who snapped a 12-match Grand Slam losing streak.

It marked Williams’ third first round defeat in a row at a Slam after exiting the US Open and Australian Open at the same stage.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion has not been past the third round at a major since 2017. She has lost eight of nine matches on tour this year.

Williams dropped serve six times in cold, blustery conditions in Paris as Schmiedlova registered her first main draw victory at a Slam since the 2015 US Open.

Her reward is a second round tie against two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka.

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