Sofia Kenin of the U.S. celebrates winning her third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against compatriot Serena Williams in two sets 6-2, 7-5, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on Saturday. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP

PARIS – Serena Williams’s bid to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title was thwarted again on Saturday when she was knocked out of the French Open 6-2, 7-5 by US compatriot Sofia Kenin in the third round.

It was 37-year-old Serena’s earliest exit at the Slams since a third round loss to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon in 2014.

Kenin, the 20-year-old world number 35, will face eighth seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia for a place in the quarter-finals.

Three-time Roland Garros champion Williams was attempting to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 majors.

“There’s a lot of emotions now,” said Kenin who wasn’t even born when Williams made her Paris debut in 1998.

“Serena is such a great champion and I have all the respect for her. I had to fight for every point.”

Williams, who has still to add to her majors collection since she returned to the tour after giving birth to her daughter, fired 30 winners and 34 unforced errors.

AFP