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A Serena stunner: 2002 champ dumped out of Roland Garros. So who wants it now ladies?

Oh what a headache!

Serena Williams, the odds-on favorite to hoist her second French Open crown after Justine Henin's shock retirement, was unceremoniously dumped out of Grand Slam play today in the third round by journeywoman Katarina Srebotnik. The 2002 champion converted only 1 0f 8 break point chances and racked up 25 unforced errors in the 4-6, 4-6 loss - not gonna cut it.

Seriously, what a missed opportunity for ReRe but a tremendous opportunity for any number of lady ballers to grab a maiden Roland Garros crown. Talk about WIDE open.

But who's going to have the courage to step up and take the title now, huh?

And in case you missed it, here's the transcript of ReRe's post-match presser:

Q. Before that match, I think you had 3 to 0 record against her. Was she a different opponent today than before? And also, I think she broke you in the opening game of the first set. Were you surprised that she played so aggressively today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. The last time I played her, she was really, really aggressive, and she played really, really well. So I knew it was going to be a tough match going in today.

Q. You've told us how much you have dedicated yourself this year, so does that make this loss even more disappointing in the context?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. But, you know, my hard work is definitely not in vain, so just go into the next match.

Q. Was it a case today that you never really felt like you were getting into it with her, or more of something she did?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt like I was able to get into it, but I just felt like I missed a lot of easy shots and a lot of key points that I felt like could have turned the match around. I wasn't able to capitalize on a lot of that.

Q. Can you just talk about some of the big‑point play? Because shots you normally routinely hit, some volleys, overheads, some returns, just didn't seem to be. Were you a little bit nervous on them?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't nervous. She was getting a lot of balls back, and I might have let that get into my head. I should have just made my shot. She was just making some shots I don't think she's ever made before, or she probably would be in the top 2.

But, you know, that was just, I guess, her game today.

Q. You've taken some tough losses before, but this is pretty much of a stunner with your form coming in here. You've been playing well. You've had a good record this year. Agreed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. You know, I knew it was going to be a tough match, but what can I say? She just played unbelievable today.

Q. You said she got a lot of balls back. Did you feel you were pressing at times? Was that you feeling? You were going for things a little bit earlier than you wanted to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. I felt like I needed to press, to kind of stay in it, I guess. But I don't know. I guess it just didn't work for me today.

Q. How do you feel this morning? Was this the case of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or...

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I felt good. I thought I had a good practice, and, you know, I thought, you know, everything was, you know, going to go better. Obviously than wasn't how it went.

Q. Now you're out of the tournament. Do you give your sister, Venus, a good chance to keep the family spirits high?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hope. You know, I'm definitely rooting for her.

Q. Do you think because she bailed through the first two rounds, do you give her a chance to get far here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's playing really well. She's been working really hard. So, you know, I think ‑‑ hopefully it will pay off.

Q. Can you tell us, Serena, how you prepare for Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, just, you know, same thing: a lot of practice and just still trying to stay really fit.

Q. Do you think the back injury in Rome might have had any effect at all, preparation‑wise in terms of how you ended up playing under pressure here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think that had any effect at all. I just don't think I played well overall in this tournament, so...


Q. In your first two matches, did you have any sense of concern about the level of your own game, or did you see this coming at all yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I didn't think I played well. Like I said in each of my interviews, I didn't feel like I played well after my first match or my second match.

But, you know, I wish I'd have played better as the tournament goes on, so...

Q. When you're in a little bit of trouble, do you think if it hadn't been on clay you'd have more chance to get out of it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I feel like my chances were really good on clay, because I really like to play on clay. You know, maybe grass, yeah, because it's so fast. But, you know, she plays kind of a fast game, too.

Q. You seem puzzled. Is that a good way to describe how you feel?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm not puzzled at all. I just don't want to be here. (laughter.)

Q. Are you still being treated for the injury you picked up in Rome?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Definitely. I've been treated every day, so I don't ‑‑ it doesn't get worse and it's been getting a lot better. It's almost perfect.

Q. So it's still there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. But, I mean, that's not the reason, you know, I lost today or anything.

Q. Okay. Just curious.


Q. Looking at the stat sheet, you only encountered, I think, one break point out of eight, and she converted three out of four. What made those difference on the key moments of the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just missed some easy shots. I think that was the difference. And she made hers, so...

Q. Serena, I know it's quickly after the match, but if you could just rewind it and do it again, would you do things differently, other than just take care of the big points?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously. There's a lot of things I would try to do different. But, you know, you can't rely on time.

Q. First two match points you get them back, and, you know, there's the thought, Okay, Serena gets back to deuce. You've been in tough matches before and turned them around. Were you, thinking, Okay, I'm back in it now. All I have to do is get a couple of points and maybe I can find myself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. That's what I was thinking. That's kind of always what I think. You know, just, Okay, if I could just win these two points, then, you know, I think I'd be okay.

Q. Then you get to the third match point and that forehand, which for you usually isn't that difficult. You yank it wide. Were you just hesitant there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just yanked a lot of them wide today. I guess it was just another one.

Q. Obviously your opponent was at 120% today. What prevented you from playing at your max, or even above?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Thanks

*Via Down the Line!

(image via AP)

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