Serena Williams had an up-and-down day. The World No. 1 and reigning gold medalist took care of Daria Gavrilova in her Rio Olympic opener 6-4, 6-2.
But then later, she and sister Venus suffered their first loss in the Olympic doubles falling to the Czech team of Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4. After 3 gold medals as a team, it was the Williams sisters first loss in 16 matches.
“It was a really tough match for us,” said Serena. “It was a really tough draw but we’re used to tough draws, we always get it, but we honestly didn’t play our best whatsoever tonight. We played terrible and that basically showed in the results. I don’t know why. I wasn’t playing the way I needed to play, I wasn’t crossing the way I needed to cross, it was what it was.”
Added Venus who has been fighting a virus, “Today was not our best day as a team. We like to play into the tournament but we played a tough team. We wish them the best of luck in the event and we’ll get ready for the US Open in doubles.”
No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber overcame a scratchy start to dismiss Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia 6-3, 7-5.
Third seed Garbine Muguruza got a break when her opponent Jelena Jankovic withdrew with a shoulder injury. The French Open winner then took care of Romanian Andreea Mitu 6-2, 6-2.
“I went out there, I was pretty nervous and I tried to fight against that, I don’t know, I just feel happy to be here,” Muguruza said.
“I see the picture [of the Olympic rings] on the floor and I’m thinking I’m not at a tournament, where the hell am I? But you know I feel very lucky to be here and be in the village with 10,000 athletes. It’s incredible.”
Former Slam winners Petra Kvitova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur were also winners.
On a busy Monday which includes play from the entire women’s second round, Serena takes on Alize Cornet who has beaten the American in their last three meetings.
Kerber faces Eugenie Bouchard and Kvitova clashes with former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
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