Coco Gauff-Venus Williams Doubles Pairing Loses in 1st Round of 2021 French Open

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2021

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 02: Coco Gauff (L) and Venus Williams of The United States react during their women's first round match against Siasai Zheng of China and Ellen Perez of Australia during day four of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros  on June 02, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Coco Gauff and Venus Williams lost in the first round of the French Open women's doubles draw.

Gauff and Williams took the first set against Ellen Perez and Saisai Zheng but couldn't build on that. Perez and Zheng rebounded to win 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3.

ESPN.com's D'Arcy Maine noted this was Gauff and Williams' first match as a team, with Williams filling in for an injured Caty McNally.

Thanks to a service break, the American duo jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set. Perez and Zheng held on the next game before breaking back. The same story played out in the tiebreak as Gauff and Williams gained the upper hand and went up 6-2 before their opponents fought back and made things difficult.

Gauff and Williams did themselves in in the second set by dropping serve three times, including in back-to-back service games after moving ahead 4-3.

Those struggles carried on into the decisive third set. Williams and Gauff had a 41 percent first-serve rate, which allowed Perez and Zheng to pounce on their second serve. The Americans won just six of those 19 points and surrendered seven break-point chances.

This defeat doesn't end Gauff's time at Roland Garros. Following a first-round victory over Aleksandra Krunic in women's singles, she'll play Qiang Wang on Thursday.