Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

U.S Open: Venus Williams loses epic encounter with Sara Errani

updated 5:13 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Venus Williams has never won a match after losing the first set 6-0 and it didn't prove any different in New York.
Venus Williams has never won a match after losing the first set 6-0 and it didn't prove any different in New York.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two-time champion Venus Williams defeated in third round of U.S. Open
  • Italian world No. 13 Sara Errani wins epic encounter 6-0 0-6 7-6
  • Qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni knocks out second seed Simona Halep
  • The former Croatian teenage star describes her shock victory as "incredible"

(CNN) -- Venus Williams was the first former champion to fall on Friday at the U.S. Open.

The American lost an epic encounter with world No. 13 Sara Errani as the Italian came through 6-0 0-6 7-6.

Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, also former winners at Flushing Meadows, hope to stay the course later on Friday.

Williams, who has rediscovered some of her best form in the build up to the final grand slam of the season, looked down and out as she lost an error-strewn opening set.

But there were cheers from the crowd on Arthur Ashe court when the 34-year-old home favorite won her first game of the match at the start of the second.

It looked like a phoenix from the flames comeback was on from Williams as she overpowered Errani to level at one set all.

U.S. Open by the numbers
Venus Williams fights incurable disease
Williams sisters show off dancing skills

The third set saw the pendulum of momentum swing between the two players.

Williams was serving for the match at 5-3 up only for Errani to break back and eventually force a deciding tiebreak.

The breaker was another see-sawing affair but it was the Italian who conjured some brilliant play to wrap up it 7-5 and book her place in the fourth round.

Williams came into Friday's single match on the back off a draining doubles match with her sister Serena.

The 34-year-old, who is dealing with the effects of Sjogren's Syndrome, will turn her attention to that side of the tournament now.

Fairytale in New York

There was a fairytale in New York for qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni as she knocked out second seed Simona Halep 7-6 6-2.

The world No. 121 had once been one of the game's rising stars, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals in 1999.

But her career went into freefall after personal revelations about an abusive childhood.

Lucic-Baroni fled to the United States with her mother and siblings but her promising tennis career was all but over.

"After so many years, it's incredible," the 32-year-old told reporters. "I live for this. Every painful moment has been worth it."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT