Venus Williams hits a backhand against Timea Bacsinszky on Sunday. Photo: Michel Euler, AP

PARIS – Venus Williams’ chances of adding a first French Open title to her collection of seven Grand Slams faded on Sunday after the 36-year-old was beaten 5-7 6-2 6-1 by Swiss Timea Bacsinszky in the French Open fourth round.

It was the second year running that Williams, seeded 10th and competing in her 20th French Open, lost to the Swiss in the Roland Garros fourth round, even though she fought back from 5-1 down to rattle off six straight games to win the first set.

“She just played well. She just came out with great tennis a lot of the time. The risk was rewarded for her,” Williams said. “I feel I played well today, but I did not quite figure out the solution in time.”

Williams, whose sister Serena is not playing in the tournament as she is expecting her first child, ran out of steam in the last two sets.

The 27-year-old Bacsinszky, who had wasted two set points in the first set, frustrated the American by playing a string of drop shots and won the next two sets with ease. The Swiss clinched the match with a delectable drop shot.

“The first set I had a big lead, but I started making catastrophic errors,” Bacsinszky said.

“I then threw some cold water on my face and told myself not to finish the Sunday like that. So I came back and played a more versatile game.”

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza reacts in her three-set defeat to Kristina Mladenovic at Roland Garros. Photo: Petr David Josek, AP


Bacsinszky, the only woman to have reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals in 2015, 2016 and 2017, will face local favourite Kristina Mladenovic in the last eight after she eliminated defending champion Garbine Muguruza.

Mladenovic ensured France will have women in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994 after dumping out fourth seed Muguruza 6-1 3-6 6-3.

The French 13th seed is through to just her second Slam quarter-final – after the 2015 US Open – and will face Bacsinszky for a spot in the last four.

Reuters, AFP

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