After beating 17-year-old Belinda Bencic in the first round, Williams, 33, was unable to overcome her 19-year-old foe in the second as she failed to capitalize on winning the first set.
Williams, who is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, has failed to advance past the third round of a major tournament since 2011 at Wimbledon. That was the same year she dropped out of the U.S. Open after announcing she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.
There were a few factors that contributed to Williams' loss, but chief among them were her second-serve struggles and penchant for making costly errors. For the match, she won just 36 percent of her second-serve points and committed 47 unforced errors to just 20 for Schmiedlova.
Williams was the more aggressive player, which has been her hallmark over the years, but it was ultimately her undoing against Schmiedlova.
The loss has to be a disappointing one for Williams after her promising victory over Bencic. Douglas Robson of USA Today had this from Williams on Tuesday:
I've had some great results here, getting to the (2002) final, winning doubles and mixed, and I've had some terrible results and tough losses. I think for me winning is great, but it's really about having a complete life and having your life together so even when it's a bad time on the court you put it behind you. You have look back and say, I had fun.
Retirement talk will naturally persist now that Williams has crashed out early at another Grand Slam, but it isn't as if she is incompetent at this point in her career. Being the No. 29 seed at a major means that she is still a factor and is capable of making some noise in the right situation.
As for Schmiedlova, this is arguably the most high-profile victory of her career. As pointed out by Simon Cambers of The Tennis Space, she has come a long way over the past couple of years:
She will now have an opportunity to face off with 20-year-old Garbine Muguruza of Spain, who shockingly dispatched No. 1 seed Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2. It will make for a third-round encounter few could have predicted.
Muguruza vs. Schmiedlova in the third round? It doesn't exactly have a Williams vs. Williams ring to it, but both youngsters have a tremendous opportunity in front of them.
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