French Open: Serena beaten
PARIS ó Serena Williams, of all people, got a case of the jitters.
That was her explanation, anyway.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion kept finding herself in, then out of, trouble in the French Open quarterfinals Wednesday, until running out of stamina and strokes down the stretch of a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5 loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova that ended Williams’ 18-match winning streak at major tournaments.
“I had an opportunity, and I got really tight, and I pretty much gave it to her,” said the second-seeded Williams, who blew a 3-1 lead in the third set. “It was like, ‘Here. Do you want to go to the semis? Because I don’t.’ She was like, ‘OK.’ ”
The seventh-seeded Kuznetsova’s semifinal opponent Thursday is No. 30 Samantha Stosur of Australia, who defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-1, 6-3. The other women’s semifinal is No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia against No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
“Honestly, I think I lost because of me,” Williams said, “and not because of anything she did.”
Williams denied she felt fatigued, blaming nerves.
How could that be?
“Maybe I put some expectations on myself that I didn’t put on myself initially,” she said.