This does not bode well for Serena's chances at the French, if she's losing to gals like Schiavone. No disrespect for Francesca, but if Serena is down at the same level, then that's not anywhere near Grand-slam-contender level...
Good for Schiavone! It is fun to watch the downward spiral of williams. I wonder what she will say in the press conference. Maybe something like, "I just had an angioplasty late last night so I really shouldn't have played today but I didn't want to disappoint my many fans. I was able to be competitive in the first set even though I was playing at .25 percent of my normal level. I still feel , no, I still know that I am the only one who can really beat me and that's exactly what happened today. I'll clean up my act and as long as I am healthy I'll be in another final at Roland Garros".
ROME (AP) -- Serena Williams certainly didn't look ready for the French Open on Wednesday.
The six-time Grand Slam winner was upset 7-6 (2), 6-1 by Italy's Francesca Schiavone in her opening match at the Italian Open, an important tuneup for the season's first major, which starts in less than two weeks.
Williams moved poorly and was overpowered by the 26th-ranked Schiavone, who had all her shots working.
Williams called it the worst loss of her career.
``This is it for me probably for sure. It won't be happening again,'' she said.
In the first-set tiebreaker, a seemingly uninterested Williams didn't even run for a drop shot by Schiavone that gave her a set-point opportunity.
``I couldn't get my legs moving. It was really weird. I've never felt like this before,'' Williams said. ``I actually had a really good warmup right before the match and I thought everything would come together, but it didn't.''
The crowd supported Schiavone and rained whistles down upon Williams, who seemed lethargic throughout the second set.
The loss extended Williams' run of misfortune since winning the Australian Open in January.
Williams was forced to withdraw from the Paris Indoors in February with a stomach illness before her quarterfinal match.
In March, she retired from her semifinal with Jelena Jankovic due to a shoulder injury. Then in Miami, she lost to sister Venus for the first time in four years, snapping a six-match winning streak against her sibling.
Last month, Serena sprained her left ankle during a quarterfinal match with Silvia Farina Elia and retired after failing to convert three match points in a second-set tiebreaker.
Serena was not planning on playing another tournament before the French Open, although she said after the loss that she was going to rethink her schedule.
``I didn't expect this to happen,'' she said.
Serena was not the only Williams who looked distracted Wednesday.
Venus watched from the stands and appeared to be sleeping. Another member of the family's entourage in the stands played a video game.
Serena said she was fit and did not take well to one reporter's suggestion that she played as if she were on a vacation.