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Venus Williams ousted at Wimbledon, one U.S. woman left

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Venus Williams and Madison Keys are out of Wimbledon, leaving just two of the top 10 seeds and one American in the women’s singles draw as third-round play continues.

That one American is Serena Williams, the seven-time Wimbledon champion seeded 25th coming off maternity leave. She beat Frenchwoman Kiki Mladenovic 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the third round on Friday and would not play a seed before the semifinals.

That’s because No. 10 Keys was upset by Russian qualifier and Evgeniya Rodina 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in the same section of the draw. Rodina was 0-15 against top-20 ranked opponents before Friday’s win. Serena Williams and Rodina, both moms, meet in Monday’s round of 16.

“Serena is my idol,” Rodina said. “So it will be great to play against her.”

Though known for her big serve and forehand, Keys has had the least success at Wimbledon of the four Grand Slams. Her best result was a 2015 quarterfinal appearance. She lost in the second round last year.

Wimbledon has been Venus Williams’ best major. The 38-year-old owns five singles titles, but she was dumped by 20th-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-2, 6-7 (5), 8-6 in the third round on Friday.

The ninth-seeded Williams’ recent resurgence peaked last year, when she made the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals, the U.S. Open semifinals and the fourth round of the French Open.

This year, she has two match wins total from three Grand Slams but also made the semifinals at Indian Wells at quarterfinals in Miami, two of the biggest events outside of the majors. She falls out of the top 10 after Wimbledon.

Bertens gets No. 7 Karolina Pliskova, one of the two top-10 seeds left, in the fourth round. Top seed Simona Halep is alive in the other half of the draw.

In the men’s draw, No. 1 Roger Federer swept German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-5, 6-2, extending his streak to 29 straight sets won since the start of the 2017 tournament. Federer gets No. 22 Adrian Mannarino of France in the fourth round.

Most of the top men are still alive, including No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 12 Novak Djokovic and No. 9 John Isner, who reached the fourth round for the first time in 10 Wimbledon starts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2018 Wimbledon men’s, women’s draws

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LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams avoided any early matchups against opponents with success to speak of at Wimbledon in a draw on Friday that could put her against No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina in the third round.

Williams is returning to the grass-court tournament for the first time since 2016 after missing it last year while pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter in September.

She is ranked outside the top 150, but the All England Club decided to seed her 25th based on past success, which includes collecting seven of her 23 Grand Slam singles trophies at Wimbledon. Williams’ first-round opponent when play begins on Monday will be 107th-ranked Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, who has one career tour title.

WIMBLEDON: Men’s Draw | Women’s Draw

Williams is competing for the first time since she pulled out of the French Open ahead of a fourth-round showdown against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in early June, citing an injured chest muscle. That was Williams’ return to Grand Slam action after a 16-month absence.

Rus has only once been as far as Wimbledon’s third round, back in 2012. That was the last time she won a match at the All England Club. She was beaten in the first round of qualifying a year ago, as were both of the women Williams could meet in the second round, 136th-ranked qualifier Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria and 167th-ranked wild-card recipient Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic.

Svitolina has only once been as far as the fourth round.

Williams’ possible fourth-round opponent, 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys, made one quarterfinal appearance, while the 36-year-old American’s potential quarterfinal foe, reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, has never been beyond the fourth round.

Williams could face her older sister, five-time champion and 2017 runner-up Venus Williams, in the semifinals. The ninth-seeded Venus Williams opens against 62nd-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, who is 0-7 at Wimbledon.

The Williams sisters are not in the doubles draw. They have won 14 Grand Slam titles as a pair, including six at Wimbledon.

In the top half of the women’s singles bracket, the quarterfinals could be French Open champion Simona Halep vs. two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, and defending champ Garbine Muguruza vs. No. 6 Caroline Garcia. In the bottom half, No. 2 Wozniacki was drawn to face Svitolina, while 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens could play No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.

The potential men’s quarterfinals in the top half are eight-time champion Roger Federer vs. 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson, and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic vs. No. 6 seed Grigor Dimitrov. In the bottom half of the bracket, it could be two-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal vs. 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, and No. 4 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 7 Dominic Thiem.

Two-time champion Andy Murray will face 48th-ranked Benoit Paire in the first round. It’s a rematch of Murray’s fourth-round victory over the Frenchman at the All England Club in 2017.

That was Murray’s last win before he sat out nearly a year because of an injured hip that was surgically repaired in January.

He returned to action last week and so is ranked only 156th and unseeded at Wimbledon, which he won in 2013 and 2016.

Murray could face 26th-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the second round.

The top-seeded Federer’s opening opponent on Monday will be 57th-ranked Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. Their only previous meeting anywhere came in Wimbledon’s second round last year, when Federer won in straight sets en route to the title.

No. 2 seed Nadal, whose 17 Grand Slam titles trail only Federer’s 20 among men, faces 129th-ranked Dudi Sela of Israel on Tuesday. Nadal has won both of their previous matchups.

Men’s first-rounders to keep an eye on include Dimitrov against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, who is still working his way back into form after knee surgery; 12-time major champ Novak Djokovic against Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren of the U.S.; and No. 23 Richard Gasquet against Gael Monfils in a matchup of Frenchmen.

Two women who lost a Wimbledon final against Serena Williams will meet in the first round when former No. 1 and two-time major champion Angelique Kerber plays qualifier Vera Zvonareva. Kerber was the runner-up in 2016, Zvonereva in 2010.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion who is seeded 24th, could face 2017 French Open champion and 12th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko in the third round, and Kvitova in the fourth.

MORE: Serena calls parts of Sharapova’s book ‘hearsay’

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Venus Williams, defending champion upset on first day of French Open

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PARIS (AP) — A year after stunning the tennis world by winning the French Open for the first tour title of her career, Jelena Ostapenko is again in rare company: a first-round loser as the defending champion at a Grand Slam tournament.

Ostapenko’s high-risk game produced far fewer rewards than problems Sunday at Roland Garros, and she bowed out to 67th-ranked Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-5, 6-3 at Court Philippe Chatrier.

The result made Ostapenko only the second reigning women’s champion to exit in the first round of the French Open a year later — it happened to 2005 winner Anastasia Myskina, too — and only the sixth at any major tournament in the professional era.

“I didn’t expect anything from this match,” Kozlova said in an on-court interview. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”

Hers was not the only significant surprise of Day 1.

Seven-time major champion Venus Williams was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by 85th-ranked Wang Qiang of China. Add that to the ninth-seeded Williams’ loss at the Australian Open in January, and this is the only time in the 37-year-old American’s career that she was sent home in the first round of back-to-back majors.

A first-time French Open finalist is already guaranteed with not only Williams and Ostapenko exiting the bottom half of the draw, but also Italians Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani.

In 2017, ranked only 47th and 20 years old, Ostapenko became the first woman since 1979 to win her initial tour-level trophy at a Grand Slam tournament.

But the Latvian has had a rough road this season: Her record is just 12-12.

Kozlova, meanwhile, is 24 and arrived at Roland Garros with an even worse mark for 2018 — 4-6.

In her only previous appearance in the main draw in Paris, last year, she lost in the first round. Overall, she had won one of seven matches at any Grand Slam site.

And against the No. 5-seeded Ostapenko, Kozlova earned the first victory of her career against someone ranked in the top 30.

In many ways, Ostapenko was her own undoing.

She wound up with 48 unforced errors, more than twice as many as Kozlova, and that was more than enough to render Ostapenko’s 22-13 edge in winners irrelevant. Ostapenko allowed her opponent to convert 7 of 16 break points, including when a backhand landed in the net to end the match after about 1½ hours.

Moments later, she was gone, swiftly heading to the locker room. Ostapenko raised her left hand to acknowledge the crowd’s applause, but she kept her eyes focused on the ground as she walked off.

Kozlova stayed steady despite the enormity of the moment and while dealing with a blister on the back of her right foot. She was treated by a trainer during a medical timeout after the first set.

“Actually, I have three blisters, but one was the worst, with blood,” Kozlova said afterward. “When you are playing the match, sometimes you are not feeling the pain. … I tried to stay focused.”

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FRENCH OPEN: TV/Stream Schedule | ScoresMen’s Draw (PDF) | Women’s Draw