Serena Williams’ comeback from a long injury layoff hit a snag Monday when the defending Wimbledon champ was eliminated from Wimbledon by France’s Marion Bartoli 6-3, 7-6 (6).
Shortly after her elimination, her sister Venus also lost in the fourth round Monday, falling 6-2, 6-3 to Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
The 23-year-old Pironkova beat Venus at Wimbledon last year by the same score to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal. She also won their first-round match at the Australian Open in 2006, writes the Associated Press.
Serena Williams, who had been out for nearly a year since winning Wimbledon last summer, had advanced to the fourth round at the All England Club before faltering. The four-time Wimbledon champion had returned to competition just two weeks ago at the Eastbourne after sitting out with a foot injury that eventually led to life-threatening blood clots in her lungs following last summer’s Wimbledon win.
But Serena Williams, the seventh seed, seemed on her way back, showing tremendous resilience in matches leading up to Monday’s defeat. And even in the loss to ninth-seeded Bartoli, Williams managed to save three matches at 6-5 in the second set and another in the tiebreaker before finally succumbing to the 2007 Wimbledon finalist.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)