PARIS — Wind was whipping, rain was falling, and thick gray clouds overhead were foreboding as
As if to prove the point, Williams double-faulted again moments later, before pushing a routine backhand wide to get broken at love.
Truth is, the defending
"Nothing really worked," said Williams, whose older sister Venus also lost. "I don't know anything that actually worked."
Ever since last week's draw, there was talk about a possible all-Williams match in the third round, which would have been their first Grand Slam meeting since the 2009
"I felt like this was a match that I was most likely going to win," Venus said. "I don't know how Serena felt, but I'm sure she feels like that every time she goes on the court. So I think our expectation was to play in the next round."
Instead of the 25th Williams vs. Williams encounter on tour, it'll be the 20-year-old Muguruza vs. 19-year-old Schmiedlova.
Serena's exit came a day after a loss by No. 2
"Nobody's safe," summed up Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach who began working with Serena after the 2012 French Open.
"Usually when she's in trouble, she always finds a way. But she's a human being, so today she couldn't."
The biggest beneficiary might be
Alize Cornet of France, seeded 20th, was surprised, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, by 18-year-old Taylor Townsend, an American wild-card entry ranked 205th and making her Grand Slam debut. On the men's side, No. 15
If an early stumble by seven-time major champion Venus is no longer big news — a month shy of 34, and slowed by an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, she has lost in the first or second round at eight of her past nine Slams — Serena's departure was shocking for many reasons.
She owns 17 major titles, including two in Paris; Muguruza was playing in her 13th career Slam match. Serena was 54-2 on clay over the past three seasons; Muguruza was 1-1 at the French Open until this week.
"I was like, 'Oh, my God, I'm winning,'" Muguruza said, noting that she grew up watching Serena on TV.
"Since I was a child, I thought, `Oh, I want to play against Serena on center court.' And today was the day," Muguruza said. "And I think I did very good."
Most striking of all was the brevity, 64 minutes. Serena never before failed to win at least five games in a match at a major, but Muguruza regularly pounded serves topping 100 mph and held her own during baseline rallies. Serena had 29 unforced errors and only eight winners.
"She played really smart," Williams said. "I didn't adapt."
So she'll remain one major singles trophy shy of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who each won 18.
And make no mistake — it's the majors that matter most to Serena, who lost in the fourth round at the