Serena Williams Upset by Johanna Konta at 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley ClassicAugust 1, 2018
Serena Williams further cemented her status as a legend and impressed the entire sports world when she reached the final at Wimbledon this month, but she struggled on the court Tuesday in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California.
Williams dropped her match to Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-0. It was her first match since she lost to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final.
The result stood in sharp contrast to the only other previous matchup between Williams and Konta, when the American won in straight sets at the 2017 Australian Open against the Sydney native.
While an early exit for Williams means the Silicon Valley Classic lost one of its primary draws, Konta is a former champion at the event. Venus Williams and defending champion Madison Keys are also in the strong field that no longer has the 23-time major singles winner.
Konta controlled Tuesday's match throughout, tallying six aces to Williams' three and winning 83 percent of her first-service points compared to just 56 percent for Williams, per the WTA. Fans accustomed to seeing Williams set the pace with her dominant serves were left watching her struggle to gain any type of command in the quick loss.
The victor described the "humbling experience" of prevailing against one of the greats:
Williams is still bouncing back from life-threatening blood-clot complications after giving birth last September. She underwent multiple surgeries and was hospitalized and has experienced up-and-down results on the court this year.
Williams withdrew at the French Open in the round of 16 before a matchup with Maria Sharapova, lost in the first round of the Miami Open in March to Naomi Osaka and lost in the round of 32 to her sister, Venus, in Indian Wells, California, in March.
Still, she has 72 singles titles and 23 singles majors on her resume and is one of the best athletes of her generation. It is a testament to her overwhelming ability that she reached the Wimbledon final after her difficult time off, but she didn't play her best Tuesday.
As a result, Konta's goal of another Silicon Valley Classic title is still alive and well.
The Briton will face Sofia Kenin in the second round and look to parlay the complete control she exerted against Williams into another straight-set victory.