Demure Venus Williams out of Wimbledon after losing match on first day of play as racy Maria Sharapova breezes through
00:13 GMT, 26 June 2012
She's as famed for her outrageous outfits as she is for her powerful volleys but today tennis star Venus Williams was lacking in both departments while Maria Sharapova stole centre court in a rather revealing outfit.
Five-time champion Venus lost in the opening round at Wimbledon for the first time since she made her debut at the tournament.
While the American's game was not up
to her previous standards, her on court outfit of a simple white vest top with a split white skirt and shorts was also a disappointment
It was left to Maria Sharapova to win the fashion stakes in a white dress with lime green straps and matching lime green briefs as she briskly pulverised Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-2 6-3 in her opening singles match.
White wash: Venus Williams wore a simple vest top and skirt as she was knocked out of Wimbledon in the opening round while Maria Sharapova won her opening singles match in a more revealing outfit, right
Leggy lady: Maria Sharapova shows odd her long legs in a white dress with matching lime green briefs that she designed for Nike
Demure: Venus Williams' choice of outfit was unusually conservative for a tennis player renowned for her outrageous attire
The top seed, winner at Wimbledon in
2004 and looking to reach her third consecutive grand slam final, was
5-0 up with only three points dropped, before meeting some brief
resistance as Rodionova held serve and then broke for 5-2.
The first two games of the second set went with serve before the powerful Russian romped into a 5-1 lead.
Rodionova delayed the inevitable with
a break for 5-2, held serve for 5-3 and then crumbled again as
Sharapova served out with an ace after 70 minutes on court.
And despite being in the midst of a
tournament, cheeky Sharapova still managed to strike a pose similar to
the 1978 Athena poster girl.
Her winning performance was also a
prime chance for Sharapova to showcase the Nike range that she has
designed herself that will also be worn by six other players in the
Pin-up: Russian Maria Sharapova leaves little to the imagination with a skimpy pair of shorts under her short skirt
Winning game, winning outfit: Russia's Maria Sharapova in action against Australia's Anastasia Rodionova
In vast contrast to Sharapova, many were left surprised by the outfit chosen by Venus – because it was so conservative.
In the past, Venus has stretched the rules on what can
be worn to play tennis at Wimbledon with her revealing and eye-catching
32-year-old American was bundled out in straight sets by Russian Elena
Vesnina, who claimed a fine 6-1 6-3 success on Court Two.
only previous experience of a first-round singles loss at Wimbledon
came as a 17-year-old in 1997 when she was defeated by Polish player
This afternoon afternoon Vesnina could
hardly believe her achievement, with the 25-year-old dancing a jig of
joy and all smiles after securing a second-round clash with number three
seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
All over: Venus waves to the crowd after she is knocked out on day one by Elena Vesnina
That will do it: Russia's Elena Vesnina celebrates as she beats Williams in straight sets
Williams fell 5-0 behind in the
opening set, against a player Britain's Heather Watson beat in the
French Open first round last month.
She slowly improved but could not find a way to turn the match around.
Williams had game point for 3-3 in the second set but frittered it away by overshooting the baseline and Vesnina broke.
It was soon 5-2 as Vesnina held
serve, and although Williams had a love game straight afterwards it was
only delaying her opponent's charge.
Williams is down at 58th in the world
rankings, with Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease which has had
a major effect on her health, having kept her out of the game between
last summer's US Open and the WTA tournament at Miami in March.
Struggling for form: Williams is down at 58th in the world rankings after suffering from Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease
Feeling the strain: Williams wipes her face during her defeat to Vesnina
All over: Vesnina shakes hands with Williams after the match
There has been speculation she could
soon retire, but her sister Serena Williams said on Saturday: 'I have no
intention of stopping, and I don't think she does either.'
Asked in her press conference whether she would be back at Wimbledon next year, Venus Williams said: 'I'm planning on it.'
She added: 'I feel like I'm a great player. I am a great player. I'm up for challenges. There's no way I'm just going to give up. That's just not me. I'm tough, let me tell you, tough as nails.
'The only thing I can do is be positive. I love this sport. I feel I can play well and I'm not going to give up on that.'
ON COURT CATWALK: A SELECTION OF VENUS'S OUTRAGEOUS OUTFITS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS AT WIMBLEDON
Daring: Last year Venus wore an on trend play suit which exposed her shoulders and back
Flapper style: Also last year, the tennis star wore a cowl neck vest with frilled skirt
Champion: She donned an unusual halterneck vest when she beat sister Serena to the title in 2008
String of wins: Venus wore a v-neck dress with a corset style tie-up back when she won in 2003
AND WHEN SHE'S NOT STICKING TO THE LTA'S DRESS CODE…
Venus wore a black and white print top at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament earlier this year, left, and stood out in this outfit at last year's Australian open