26 Jun 2012

Five-time champion first round loser at Wimbledon

2:49 pm on 26 June 2012

The five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has crashed out of Wimbledon on the opening day, humbled 6-1 6-3 by the Russian Elena Vesnina.

It was the former world number one's earliest loss at Wimbledon since she went out in the first round on her debut in 1997.

The 32-year-old Williams returned to the WTA tour in March, seven months after being diagnosed with an auto-immune illness, but she took umbrage at suggestions that she was struggling and should consider retirement.

Venus Williams will stay on for the doubles with sister Serena, and they hope to defend their title at the London Olympic tournament next month.

The world number one and top seed Maria Sharapova made a brisk start to her campaign with a 6-2 6-3 win over the Australian Anastasia Rodionova.