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Razzano ousts Serena, shakes up Roland Garros 2012, actually floods it with tsunami!

Serena Williams was the biggest favorite to win Roland Garros 2012 with her 17-0 winning streak on clay this season, but she ended up losing in the first round of a Grand Slam event for the first time in her career! Serena used to be 46-0 in first round at Grand Slams. Now Virginie Razzano has spoiled that perfect record and completely changed the perspective of Roland Garros 2012.

Virginie Razzano lost the pretty calm first set, kept her game on a good level in the relatively steady second set, before bringing her fierce side in the last moment, coming back from 1-5 down in the tiebreak to win the set and then even the match by pulling off the highly-dramatic third set (and even highly-dramatic could be an understatement). Final score: 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3.

The first set started quietly, and even though Razzano broke Williams' serve in the first game and soon after had a 3-1 lead, the slow pace of the match somehow assured me that Williams was yet to switch to a higher gear. In the eighth game, a precise backhand in the corner earned Williams a triple break point and she leveled at 4-4, then held her serve and in the tenth game Razzano surrendered the set with a double fault.

A few more games continued in the pretty steady mood of the first set, but then things heated up when Razzano earned two break points at 2-2 and then the third one with a beautiful battle on the net. However, the entertaining set continued to go with serve until the end. I have to admit that when Serena held her serve to love to lead 6-5, I expected her to finish the job in the following game, but the sturdy Razzano converted entertainment into drama, forced the tiebreak AND from 1-5 down in the tiebreak she won 13 straight points to win the set and lead 1-0 40-0 in the third set. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Serena was crying after she lost the second set, as if she knew the defeat was looming.

Razzano's lead was even greater soon. The former world No.16, now No.111, raced to a 5-0 lead in the third set. The fifth-seeded Serena was fighting to come back, won three games, but Razzano earned a match point. Razzano served up a double fault on her first match point at 5-3, before sealing victory on her EIGHTH, in the same game but like 20 minutes later (after 12 deuces).

Besides the unexpected drama that unfolded, this match had another peculiarity. It was the first meeting of the two veterans, who were playing their 15th (Serena) and 14th (Razzano) main draw at Roland Garros.

Is it of any consolation that Serena looked super cute in her green Nike Statement Rally Dress matched with Nike Air Max Mirabella 3 shoes and accessorized by nice white flower earrings? Oh, I guess not. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)

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13 thoughts on “Razzano ousts Serena, shakes up Roland Garros 2012, actually floods it with tsunami!

  1. James

    Your title made me laugh :-D

    This was one of the most remarkable matches I have ever watched. There were so many talking points I could write an essay here… but I won't!

    Just incredible collapse from Serena and all revolves around that point at 5-1 in the second set tiebreak when she stopped play when she thought a point from Razzano had gone long.

    Razzano deserved the win and for all she has been through in the last 12 months, I am happy to see her claim the biggest win of her career.

    I cannot believe my tip to win Roland Garros is out in round one!!!! Oh well :-P

  2. Maggie

    I'm so happy for Virginie! She played well, she really deserved this win. Seems like french girls are finally finding their ways back to the big tennis. Even Parmentier, while she lost to U. Radwanska (congrats Ula!), she had however a good Strasbourg tournament.
    As for Serena's outfit, I didn't really like the earring all that much, but I loved her dress. One of very few Nike clothes that really gives me a desire to go to their store and buy this dress :)

  3. Dusan

    Virginie played great and deserved to win!Serena was out of sorts in the both second and third sets.Credit to Razzano who was calm when she needed :)

  4. Mirjana

    Serena played badly, her shots just were not deep or agressive enough. I don't know, maybe she wasn't completely ready after the injury or she just didn't take this match seriously before it was too late… Definitely biggest suprise. But yes, the dress is stunning, it looked amazing with her skin. For me, the best look in Paris. Earings and make-up were too much, but that's Serena.

  5. Yassine

    Serena's loss changes everything, Wozniacki must feel relieved, she never has been closer to the french open semis

  6. Marine

    I watched just a part of the final set but that was some tsunami of UEs there :-D. I think Serena probably won't sleep well for a couple of days after this,LOL.
    I would never imagine she'd throw away so many chance to break Razzano who was on her last legs and struggling with cramps.
    Well done to Virginie who showed she is big fighter.

  7. Tulp

    If the time-space was Old Greece, and I were Pindaros, I'd write an ode to Virginie of Nimes, the tennis player.

  8. Bróna

    That was one of the most dramatic matches I have ever watched. I thought coming into the match that Razzano would be a tough opponent for Serena, but no-one could have predicted that this would happen! Even when Razzano went 5-0 up in the third set, I still thought Serena would come back to win, as bizarre as that sounds. I couldn't believe the errors that Serena was making, particularly off service returns that she would normally pummel back in to court for winners. Well done to Razzano though. She thoroughly deserved her victory and I have to say it was refreshing watching her compete out there today. The tournament has suddenly become a lot more interesting. It'll be very intriguing to see how the draw continues to pan out… ;)

  9. Merlisa

    Nobody brought up Serena's fake eye lashes. What was she thinking. I'm too scared to wear false lashes out to dinner, let alone to play tennis. Just a bit too cute. How can you serve and volley with fake lashes?

  10. JohnnyB

    Did Serena try to lose this match?

    Did Razzano play so badly that Serena had to really play awful so as not to win?

    Was this match just further testament to Serena's mental illness?

    The best outcome is that we will not need to read or hear the Serena hype for the next 2 weeks.

  11. Tosin

    Your write-up was dramatic! Wish I'd seen it live, Baby.
    Yeah, Serena looks great in that photo, but you make her cry – somebody's gonna pay!
    Wow.

  12. Marija Post author

    James, well I was inspired :) Serena was also my biggest favorite for the title, haha so much for my credibility! :) But that's what makes tennis awesome. About the tiebreak, thanks for correcting me, I wrote 2-5, while Razzano returned from 1-5.

    Maggie, I like how the earrnings subtly accentuated the spring look.

    Dusan, Mirjana, Serena was definitely below her best level. In the end I was affraid Razzano would melt away, when Serena came back from 0-5 to 3-5 in the third set and Razzano wasted 7 match points. But luckuly, the Razzano thrill was not spoiled.

    Yassine, with the biggest favorite out, the perspective of the tournament is completely changed.

    Marine, thank you for mentioning it that Razzano also overcame cramps, in the second and third set. We don't see Serena crying often, and this time she cried before even losing!

    Tulp, you're just as inspired as I am, I express it in articles, you express it through your poetic side. :)

    Bróna, as I mentioned in my response to Dusan and Mirjana, I also thought Serena would come back all the way when she started winning games in the third set. I'm glad for Razzano and for the fact that we got a beautiful first-round desert but also I'm sorry that Serena is out, because I'm not sure Razzano will last that long in the draw to continue our excitement about her.

    Merlisa, I didn't notice the fake lashes, just quite a lot of eyeliner.

    John, in takes two to make a great match, and Razzano and Serena both proved their greatness.

    Kartik, imagine, first loss in GS R1 in 47 matches.

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