Venus Williams of USA leaves the court dejected after her womens singles first round match against Elena Vesnina of Russia on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2012 in London, England

*For the first time in her career, five-time champion Venus Williams went out in the opening round of Wimbledon with a 6-1 6-3 loss to Russia’s Elena Vesnina.


The former world number one started the match with two double faults and was never able to match the energy of Vesnina, ranked 79 in the world.

Williams came into the match on the back of her toughest year in tennis following a six-month break battling Sjogren’s Syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes chronic fatigue and joint pain.

She was unseeded at the All England Club for the first time since her debut in 1997, having dropped to 58 in the world rankings. She also lost in the first round of the French Open last month.

However, Venus quashed talk of retirement following the defeat.

“There’s no way I’m going to give up. I love this sport,” the American said in her post-match press conference. “I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. The only thing I can do is be positive.”