Tennis star Serena Williams has lost her chance of being the first player to win two Olympic gold medals in singles events. She crashed out of the third round in the Rio Olympics 2016 in the hands of Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4.
Svitolina crushed the defending gold medal winner through straight sets victory on Tuesday. The unexpected outcome came after Serena seemed to be out of sorts throughout the match. The American champion chalked up the loss to unforced errors, including five double faults.
According to the match report by ESPN, the no. 1 seed was broken early in the match and immediately had to play catch-up from 2-1 behind. She never made one of her classic recoveries. In fact, it was quite the contrary. Williams handed her opponent 37 points through unforced errors. Despite the dip in her game, Williams courteously credited her opponent for a game well played. “The better player won,” she said.
Serena also failed to defend her women’s doubles gold medal, which she won with her sister Venus in the Atlanta Olympics in 2012. The Williams pair were defeated in the first round in Rio 2016 after another lackluster performance. The early exit ended their bid to add to the stack of Olympic gold medals which they won in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Meanwhile, in the men’s draw, CNN reports that Serbian ace Novak Djokovic ended up in tears after dashing his own Olympic gold medal hopes. He lost to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in closely fought straight sets, 7-6,7-6. “It’s very sad and disappointing to go out of the tournament this early but I am glad that a good friend of mine, who has struggled with injuries, has won,” said Djokovic.
Elsewhere, Spain flag bearer Rafael Nadal and 2012 gold medal winner Andy Murray are still on track to be the first player to ever win two Olympic gold medals in tennis singles events.