Serena starts slow
PARIS - Serena Williams entered yesterday with a 37-0 record in the first round at Grand Slam tournaments.
She also began the day with a four-match losing streak, the longest of her career.
Williams focused on the second of those statistics, the more discouraging one. And while she never appeared truly in danger of coming out on the wrong end against 100th-ranked Klara Zakopalova at the French Open, there were times when it did seem Williams simply could not wrap things up.
Twice, Williams served for the match and was broken. Eight times, Williams was one point from victory and couldn't complete the task. Finally, on match point No. 9, Zakopalova pushed a forehand wide to seal Williams's 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 win, leaving the 10-time Grand Slam champion screaming and hopping at the baseline in a mix of joy and relief.
"I was just desperate for a win," the second-seeded Williams said, "and I think it pretty much showed in my game."
Afterward, she went on court with older sister Venus to play doubles, a match suspended in the third set at about 9:45 p.m. because of darkness.
It was an anticlimactic end to a Day 3 that brought the first rain of the tournament, a two-hour-plus delay that interrupted easy wins for No. 5 Jelena Jankovic and No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Losses by No. 15 James Blake, No. 22 Mardy Fish, and Bobby Reynolds left US men 2-7 so far.