WIMBLEDON, England -- Five-time champion Venus Williams lost in the opening round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1997, falling 6-1, 6-3 to Elena Vesnina of Russia on Monday.
Williams had lost in the second round at the French Open, her first Grand Slam action since Aug. 29, 2011, at the U.S. Open; two days later, she pulled out of her second-round match at that tournament, revealing that she'd been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
The unseeded Williams lost the first five games Monday. She put up more of a fight in the second set but was broken in the sixth game when she missed a forehand. Vesnina clinched the match with a service winner. Williams was making her 16th straight appearance at Wimbledon and had not lost in the first round since her debut.