If there's any reason for women's world number one Serena Williams to succumb to Tennis Hate, retire and open her own nail salon, it was her listless, straight-set loss to unseeded Garbine Muguruza. It took just over an hour, 64 minutes, for the 35th seeded 20-year-old from Spain to demolish the defending champ.
Williams won just four games in the entire match. That's not like her. She couldn't find any rhythm on her serve, winning just 55 percent of her points on her first serve. Her second serve point percentage was in the basement, 27 percent, compared to Muguruza's 68 percent. The vaunted slugger hit only 8 winners. EIGHT. That's one for every other game. That's just not like her.
Serena's Tennis Hate was visible on the court, according to The Guardian:
She moved sluggishly throughout and, although fighting to the end, was clearly distraught at her inability to keep the ball in play and racked up 28 unforced errors. At one point in the penultimate game, she shook visibly before serving and seemed on the point of collapse, but she gathered her composure to finish.
Finish the game, but not the tournament. Muguruza made sure of that.
"It’s amazing,” Muguruza said of her victory over Williams, by far the biggest win of her young career. It's her sixth Grand Slam ever and only her second appearance at Roland Garros. “I didn’t expect that. But I played very, very good. I am really happy. My plan was to be very aggressive and I think I did it very well."
Williams, who had to withdraw from Madrid earlier this season because of left thigh trouble, said nothing was physically wrong with her. A journalist pressed her on this point, saying she had overheard Williams muttering that she couldn't serve.
"No, I just couldn't serve," Serena said, in a rare, publicly critical self-assessment. She never talks about her game like that. It's just not like her.
"It was one of those days, you can't be on every day," Serena said. "Gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam, but it happens. It's not the end of the world. It is what it is."
"I honestly never saw her play like this," Williams said of her opponent. "We'll see if she can keep it up."
Ahhhh. That's my girl. Show me some of your characteristic bravado. That means you're on your way back from this super ugly loss.
But Williams said something different to Muguruza at the net, when it was all over. "She said, if I continue to play like this, I could win the tournament," Garbine told reporters in her post-match interview.
She'll play Anna Schmiedlova, another unknown, who triumphed in three sets over Williams' sister, Venus, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
Just to keep the American Tennis Hate going, Sam Querry is also simmering on the sidelines. The 26-year-old, who's been struggling to regain the confidence and form that had him as high as 17th in the world in 2011, lost to 31-year-old veteran Dmitry Tursenov, 6-4, 7-5, 6-1.