PARIS (AP) — The last time Serena Williams left the French Open after an early loss, in 2012, she went on to win the next two Grand Slam tournaments — and four of the next six.
So what might the tennis world see from Williams now that she was beaten in the second round at Roland Garros?
"I'm going to go home and work five times as hard," she said, "to make sure I never lose again."
Well, that last part might be far-fetched, but the point was pretty clear nonetheless: Watch out when play starts at Wimbledon next month.
Williams, seeded No. 1 in Paris and the defending champion, endured the most lopsided loss of her 288-match Grand Slam career Wednesday, beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 35th-ranked Garbine Muguruza, a 20-year-old from Spain.
It's only the third time the 32-year-old Williams has exited a major tournament before the third round. She lost to her older sister Venus in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, and lost to Virginie Razzano in the first round of the French Open two years ago. Right after that setback, Williams began working with French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, a relationship that immediately paid dividends.
Over the rest of that season, she won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and two gold medals at the London Olympics. Then, in 2013, Williams went 78-4 with 11 titles, including at the French Open and U.S. Open.
"She's definitely the kind of person that, when something bad happens to her, is always able to react. It's really something that she has in herself," Mouratoglou said. "When she has a bad loss or she's really down ... it's also a source of motivation for her to come back even stronger. So I have no doubt that she will tell me very soon that she wants to get ready to go back to work and win again."
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