Grass is Venus Williams's favorite surface. Even if she's been fading everywhere else for some time—she hasn't been to a final of a non-Wimbledon Grand Slam in nine years—she would reliably muster up a respectable (and sometimes dominant!) performance in England.
Not anymore. For the first time since her rookie year in 1997, Williams has been bounced from the first round at Wimbledon. The five-time Wimbledon champ lost to Elena Vesnina, an unknown Russian ranked 79th in the world.
Williams started the match with five straight faults. She had only two break-point chances. She was absolutely dominated.
Williams is 32. She's sick. She hasn't done better than the fourth round of a Grand Slam in two years. And now, apparently, she's lost her only out pitch.