Venus Williams has crashed out of the Australian Open. The American was ousted by Swiss World No. 78 Belinda Bencic in the first round of the Australian Open. The fifth seed lost to Benic in two sets, 6-3, 7-5. This is William’s first loss against Benic in the four times she has faced the Swiss player. Venus joins the club of Sloane Stephens, Dominika Cibulkova and Ekatarina Makarova, who also suffered shock defeat. This will be the first time, since 1997, that a year’s first grand slam will not have a William sister in the second round.
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This is Venus’s second loss this year, the first being against FORMER world No. 1 Angelique Kerber at the Sydney International match. Kerber defeated Williams in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
After she learnt about her draw, Bencic was pretty nervous. “Honestly, the first reaction (when the draw came out) was ‘oh bad luck’, but of course it would be nice to play someone easier first round and get your rhythm a little bit,” Bencic said. The World No. 78 has confessed to watching the William sisters play while growing up. "It was amazing because when I was a little girl I was watching on TV and never thought I would ever play them. I really enjoyed it," Bencic said after winning the match.
The Swiss was recovering from an injury throughout last year but said it had only a point of view that she is grateful to have received.
“It was a difficult five months. I appreciate that I can just play — I’m not thinking so much about winning or losing,” she said.
“I’m just happy to be on the court. It taught me a lot, this frustrating time.”
Defending champion Serena Williams had declined from entering the tournament, citing an inability to “go all the way” in the tournament.