LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Former world No. 1 Serena Williams, who was playing her first match since losing in the Wimbledon final, was sent crashing out of the WTA San Jose tournament in straight sets on Tuesday.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner struggled mightily against the British No. 1 and former winner Johanna Konta who needed just 51 minutes to crush Williams, 6-1, 6-0 in their opening round match.
Williams, who was seeded sixth, managed just nine winners against 25 unforced errors and had her serve broken six times.
She looked nothing like the player that dominated the Tour for decades, winning 72 singles titles and earning more than $86 million in prize money.
Both women were playing their first match since Wimbledon, where Williams finished runner-up to Angelique Kerber and Konta lost in the second round to eventual quarter-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
Konta won her maiden WTA title at this event in 2016 when it was held in Stanford University, defeating Serena’s older sister Venus in the final.
Konta next faces Sofia Kenin, who earned a dominating win over qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg on Monday.
In Wachington, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, struggling in his comeback from left knee surgery, was ousted by US qualifier Donald Young at the ATP and WTA Washington Open on Tuesday.
Young, ranked 234th, outlasted the 33-year-old Swiss 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3) and advanced to a second-round match with Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.
On the women’s side, reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens opened by beating fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5, 6-4.
Third-ranked Stephens, who captured her first Grand Slam title last year in New York, rallied from 5-2 down in the first set to book a second-round match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Wawrinka, who began his career in 2002, won his first Grand Slam title at the 2014 Australian Open and added the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open titles. He reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015 but hasn’t gotten past the second round since.
Hard-learned patience over 12 years before his Slam breakthrough is paying dividends as Wawrinka tries to recapture top form.