There were some big name departures from the French Open on Sunday as 23-time Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams, lost to Elena Rybakina while 20-time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, withdrew from the tournament citing a danger to his body.
Williams came into the match on the back of three good wins and she was looking the odds-on favourite to get to the final but 21-year-old Rybakina, the No.21 seed, upset the form books with a straight sets win – 6-3, 7-5, in 77 minutes.
Williams had played 15 matches all season leading to Roland Garros and said as much in the post-match press conference. “I got some good matches in here. I did not have the best clay-court season, but it was good to finally get some wins on clay.
Rybakina raced into a 4-1 lead in the first set but Williams said the match was a close one. “There is literally a point here, a point there, that could change the whole course of the match. I’m not winning those points. That literally could just change everything.”
Williams’ wait for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title continues until Wimbledon.
In the men’s draw, Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament after his third-round win over Dominik Koepfer on Saturday. The match against Koepfer, which he won in four sets of 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, lasted three hours and 35 minutes.
Federer, who will turn 40 in August, said in a statement, “After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it’s important that I listen to my body and make sure I don’t push myself too quickly on my road to recovery.
“After discussions with my team, I’ve decided I will need to pull out of Roland-Garros today. I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court,” he added.
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