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WIMBLEDON: Venus laments after first round exit, as Gouff crashes, Mmoh stuns FAA

VENUS Williams was left fuming yesterday after losing her first round match at Wimbledon to Elina Svitolina.

The 43-year-old American, regarded as one of the greats of women’s tennis, was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Svitolina after she (Venus) was given a hero’s welcome on her return to Wimbledon.

The five-times Wimbledon women’s singles title winner, who has battled injuries in recent years and entered the tournament as a wild card, was defeated by the Ukrainian after falling and picking up an injury in the first set.

In an emotional post-match press conference, Venus said she was shocked by the outcome.

“Yeah, it’s not fun right now,” she said. “I felt like I was in great form coming into this tournament, and great form in the match. It’s all very shocking at the moment.”

But reflecting on a glorious career of almost three decades, Venue said she would not change a thing.

“I think it happened all the way it was supposed to,” she said. “I won my first match. Once I started playing on tour, I went on to the top. I don’t think it could have been better.”

Responding to a question about her decision not to shake the umpire’s hand at the end of the match, she said: “I completely disagreed with the call, it was just that type of game.”

Svitolina, 28, paid tribute to Venus after the game, referring to her opponent as a ‘legend’.

Before yesterday’s defeat Venue had dismissed questions about whether she would retire like her younger sister, Serena, who played her final Wimbledon last year. Asked if she would consider playing at 50, she said: “It’s never been done before so if there is anyone who could do it, it would be me.”

Also yesterday, 2020 Australian Open champ Sofia Kenin, a qualifier in this year’s Wimbledon, produced a huge upset to beat women’s seventh seed Coco Gauff 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the second round.

In another upset yesterday, American with Nigerian heritage Michael Mmoh, who got into the main draw as a lucky loser, stunned the No.11 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets of 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.

Mmoh became the player to knock out the first top 15 player in the men’s draw with his shock victory.

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