PARIS, France - Both Williams sisters were bundled out in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday by young opponents, with Venus Williams falling in three sets to Anna Schmiedlova and top-seeded Serena Williams stunned by Garbiñe Muguruza. With second-seeded Li Na having been beaten the day before, this is the first time in the Open Era that both of a Grand Slam's Top 2 seeds have failed to reach the third round.
The 20-year-old Muguruza had never previously faced a World No.1, but is clearly a rising star based on a season that has already included her first WTA title at Hobart, a run to the final at Florianopolis, a semifinal outing at Marrakech and her best Grand Slam showing in reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. She came into this contest with three Top 10 wins to her name - her best coming over No.9 Vera Zvonareva at Miami in 2012 and over No.9 Caroline Wozniacki at Miami in 2013.
Williams did not appear susceptible to an upset, having gone 9-0 on European clay this year coming into this match and having surrendered just two games against Muguruza in their one previous encounter at the 2013 Australian Open.
The Turning Point
Muguruza jumped on Williams from the get-go, going up a set and 4-1 while putting on an amazing display of power. Then for a moment, it appeared Williams could be launching one of her patented comebacks, as she went up 40-0 on Muguruza's serve with three chances to get one of the breaks back. But Muguruza calmly served her way out of trouble and after Williams held the next game, Muguruza held at love for the 6-2, 6-2 triumph in 64 minutes.
By The Numbers
Muguruza dominated virtually all of the statistics. She feasted on Williams' second serve, winning 11 of 15 points while successful on 17 of 25 points on her own second serve. The Spaniard also was five of seven on net approaches, with Williams zero out of five. Finally, in the all-important break point category, Muguruza was five out of eight compared to just one out of five for Williams.
Williams had never won fewer than five games in a Grand Slam match before Wednesday, but now this goes down as her worst loss in a major.
"She was my favorite player as a kid, and I watched her on TV growing up," Muguruza said. "When I practiced, I studied how Serena serves, how she plays a backhand. I saw like 100 videos of her. It was really difficult to be able to be calm and say, 'It's just another player who I can beat if I play well.' But I think I did it, and that was the reason I was able to play like this."
"It was one of those days," Williams said. "You know, you can't be on every day. I hate to be off during a Grand Slam, but it happens. It's not the end of the world. It is what it is.
"I love it here, but there's always next year. At least I won't have any points to defend next year, so I look forward to it.
"I'm going to go home and work five times as hard to make sure I never lose again."
Though many had expected an all-Williams affair in the third round, instead Muguruza will square off with the 19-year-old Schmiedlova for the second time - having previously defeated her in the second round of this year's Australian Open.
Schmiedlova rallied from a set and a break down to defeat World No.29 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Slovak's first Top 30 win put her into the third round of a major for the first time.