Serena Williams hardly ever loses, but when she does, her conqueror isn’t necessarily a big WTA name. That’s exactly what happened in her Charleston opener on Tuesday, as world No.78 Jana Cepelova, with no Top 15 wins to her name, ousted the American world No.1 in straight sets. Actually, the Slovak won the first five games of the match, something hardly achievable against Serena, and she held her nerve to pull off a 6-4 6-4 second-round victory against the three-time Charleston champion.
After the match, Williams, who came to Charleston after winning Miami on Saturday, said she was “really just dead” and in need of some weeks off without thinking about tennis, but she also didn’t want to take anything away from her opponent:
“I really knew nothing about her game going into the match, so she played a really good match against me today. And it just wasn’t my day,” said Williams, who also said that her opponent was a great counterpuncher who hit a lot of balls back. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)