Venus Williams lost in the first round at the Australian Open for only the second time, with her serve and concentration letting her down when it counted most in a 6-2, 4-6, 4-6 defeat to Ekaterina Makarova on Monday.
The seven—time Grand Slam winner breezed through the first set against the No. 22-seeded Makarova, who had an upset win over Serena Williams in the fourth round at the 2012 Australian Open.
She had chances in the second, missing a breakpoint opportunity to go up 4-2, and then serving three consecutive double-faults after leading the ninth game 40-30 to surrender a crucial break.
Williams led 3-0 in the third set but Makarova rallied strongly to advance to the second round. Williams was playing the Australian Open for the 14th time and the highlight remains a run to the final in 2003.