Serena Williams suffered the worst scoreline loss of her career last night

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Let’s talk about tennis for a minute! Serena Williams had signed up to play three tournaments back-to-back, then she will have a week off before the US Open. In Serena’s career in her 30s, it’s rare for her to play four tournaments (including New York) during the North American hardcourt swing. This week was the first of those tournaments, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. First, something nice: check out her pretty Nike kit. It’s a red-and-black version of her Wimbledon kit – long sleeved, full skirt, and what I would imagine are some kind of compression tights.

Tuesday night was her first match since losing the Wimbledon final. Serena’s form at Wimbledon looked great… up until the final, where she just couldn’t find her rhythm against an in-form Angelique Kerber. Serena cried in the post-match Wimbledon interview, but she also reminded everyone that she was just getting started on her post-baby comeback. So how did Serena do in her match on Tuesday? Um.

Serena Williams is usually the one who inflicts heavy defeats on others, but the former world No.1 suffered the most one-sided loss of her illustrious career Tuesday when she was knocked out of the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic after a 6-1 6-0 defeat.

During a 53-minute rout, British No.1 Johanna Konta, ranked 48th in the world, won 12 games in a row — including two service games to love in the second set — to progress to the second round in San Jose. Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion who only returned to the tour from maternity leave earlier this year, served seven double faults and made 25 unforced errors in, according to the WTA, the most one-sided loss of her career. Since turning professional in 1995, the 36-year-old Williams had never before lost a match without winning at least two games.

[From CNN]

Good lord. Now, did Serena lose to a great player? Um… not really. No disrespect to Johanna Konta – I like Konta – but Konta is a good (not great) player and she has been playing terribly this year. That being said, Konta clearly prefers hard courts and she’s quite happy playing in America, so maybe she was just feeling it. But seriously though, Serena had a really bad night. On to Canada? And then Cincinnati. And then… New York. We’ll see. I’m not panicking yet. *laughs nervously*

Konta was classy about it.

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30 Responses to “Serena Williams suffered the worst scoreline loss of her career last night”

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  1. Slowsnow says:

    I love Serena. But there is also another reason I root for her: to prove people that you can be an athlete and a mother. That is why this difficult comeback hurts… in many ways. Am I – are we – being delusional?

    Edit: she is so brave to make this come back before she feels at the top of her game. Se truly is the closest I can think of in terms of role models although I hate the idea of “following” anyone.

    • broodytrudy says:

      There are quite a few athletes who got better after becoming mothers. Serena might end up being one of them, and she might not. It doesn’t matter either way. It’s nice to root for her, but ffs (not directed at you, just in general), she’s one of the top athletes of all time. She does not have to do everything and does not owe her fans anything. She enjoyed playing, hopefully she still does, that’s all that matters. I hope she can still be happy in the game, winning or not.

      ETA because i think there’s a big narrative missing in this discussion: that it’s okay to lose. It’s okay to lose as an athlete, or as a regular joe. It’s okay to lose as a black woman, as the goat in tennis, as a mother, as a wife. The conversation (again, not you, just in general) seems like we really want to hold Serena up as a prop and say “look! Despite being a new mother, a black woman in a traditionally white sport, and a wife, Serena is still the goat.” She’s not ours to use that way and there’s something that makes me really uncomfortable about the current narrative.

      • Clare says:

        Agree – Serena is a fing superstar and was on the very top over her game for a long long time, but is ok for her to loose. It is also ok for other athletes to celebrate when they beat her, fair and square. Other athletes shouldn’t be expected to always be ‘humble’ etc in victory against Serena – that is unfair to both the winner AND to Serena, to imply that anyone who beats her must have done so because SHE isn’t at her best. Serena has earned and enjoyed many victories (sometimes not the most gracefully, either) and other athletes should be allowed to celebrate their wins, too, even when the person they beat is Serena (who is, again, a superstar, but also a human being).

      • Christy says:

        I don’t doubt she’s a great mother to her daughter, but can we also please stop pretending she’s the only woman ever to give birth and return to work? There are thousands of women who have complications with pregnancies and/or giving birth without nearly the resources Serena has. If she needs to take more time off to recover and regain her top form she can easily do so.

      • Zikifly says:

        Yes, this narrative somehow manages to be unfair to everyone. It puts a ton of pressure on Serena so her every loss gets scrutinized, when every athlete is going to have some losses. It’s an impossible standard for a new mom going back to work – Look, Serena Williams can win a Grand Slam! What great shape she’s in! It’s unfair to athletes who lose to her – oh, look, Serena Williams can return after childbirth and surgery and still beat you! And for those who beat her – oh, you beat her when she wasn’t at her best. You’re not a great athlete.
        Obviously her return to the game was worthy of a ton of coverage and she is totally amazing. Let’s let this narrative go now and return to mocking Maria Sharapova.

  2. Eleonor says:

    Look I don’t know how to put this, but is it possible she still hasn’t recovered from the pregnancy, and she rushed back to the competition too quickly? I know she is the greatest out there, and probably she wants to demonstrate that she still is, but imo she is putting herself under too much pressure, instead of taking the time she needs.

    • tracking says:

      Yes. It can take a full year or more to recover fully from childbirth, especially since she had a difficult one. I definitely think she felt pressure to come back sooner than she ought to have.

    • Wisca says:

      I hate the pressure many mothers feel to prove all is the same in less than a year, especially after an emergency C section where she almost died.

    • CurlyWurly says:

      Yes, pregnancy is super hard on your core. I think she is an amazing athlete that operates at a phenomenal level. She is basically a space rocket. She might have underestimated just how much pregnancy can change the body. She will get back to herself – she just needs more time.

  3. Maya says:

    Serena is trying to much to early. She had a horrible birth and should listen to her body and rest.

  4. Aang says:

    I know nothing of tennis or Serena but wondering if she just tried too soon? Maybe she just needs more time get used to her new body, her hip bones could be wider and weight may be distributed differently. That could throw off anyone’s game.

    • Wisca says:

      True. Also, I read her sister’s murderer was released yesterday.

      Edit: Already said below.

      • Snazzy says:

        OMG what? Ok I didn’t know she had a sister who was murdered. Of course that had something to do with it

  5. Rescue Cat says:

    I betcha Konta rewatches that match a few times.

  6. Mia4s says:

    Konta was classy, good for her and congratulations. Sadly I imagine others will not be nearly as classy. Serena has a target on her constantly; partially because she’s the GOAT of course and partially for….other reasons. 😒

  7. Reese says:

    I adore her! I still feel her Wimbledon loss. She is such a strong women, physically, emotionally and mentally. I believe she will take these set backs and come back stronger. Serena’s world changed when she became a mother, tough delivery, adjusting to motherhood and getting back to where she wants to be takes time.
    She will always be the G.O.A.T.

  8. Sayrah says:

    Eek. I hope she can right this ship soon. I love Serena.

  9. New wife, new mother, difficult birth, world class athlete…new priorities.

    I have no doubt she will be back if that’s what she chooses, one does not reach the pinnacle of their profession without a single minded drive, having said that it is entirely possible that tennis, while obviously her passion, may no longer be her highest priority.

    I hope she chooses whatever path gives her the most joy. Selfishly I hope she chooses the path that tells the world yes, we can have it all.

  10. Beth says:

    She’s amazing, but human, and this loss is nothing to be ashamed of. She’s still recovering from time off after her difficult pregnancy and delivery, and before long she’ll be unbeatable again

  11. BB says:

    Her sisters murderer was released from prison on Monday so maybe her head wasn’t all the way on tennis.

  12. DizzyLizzy says:

    For context and for those who don’t know. She didn’t come back too early.

    The man who killed her sister Yewande was released this week.

    That is what is causing the distress in the Willians camp.

  13. Mego says:

    Serena’s is probably reliving some of the trauma of her sister’s violent death which affected her game. I feel bad that she and her family are going through this.

  14. Mrs. Bad Bob says:

    She lost, and she has lost before, I don’t understand why there needs to be excuses, physical or emotional, Serena will always be an amazing athlete, and losing is part of the game. I don’t think it helps her to pile on the pressure, no matter how much good will is behind it.

    • Reese says:

      Serena doesn’t need excuses. She is the G.O.A.T. even if she decided to never play again.
      What’s different behind these loses is that she is now a mother. Despite what others have said, it’s not easy to make a list of world class athletes at her caliber and level of success coming back after having a child.
      Serena is a champion and knows better than any of us what she can handle and what it takes. She could care less of anybody’s expectations of her, she has said so countless times in interviews. Serena will do what she wants, when she wants and never apologize for it. All the more reason to love her so.

  15. minx says:

    She’ll be fine, she is fine. Personally I think she does need more time to process the news about her sister and to recover from birth. Up to her.

  16. Patty says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she got pregnant again soon and retired altogether. I follow her Insta and sometimes she seems kind of over Tennis. Maybe deep down she just want to chill with her little family.