AP Sports Writer
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Five-time champion Venus Williams was eliminated 6-1, 6-3 by Elena Vesnina of Russia at Wimbledon on Monday, the first time the American has lost in the opening round at the All England Club since her debut 15 years ago.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, has fallen to 58th in the world rankings since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She lost the first five games on Court 2 to the 79th-ranked Russian and, although she picked up her game and fought hard, was never able to turn the match around.
Defending men's champion Novak Djokovic had no such troubles, beating former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in the opening match on Centre Court.
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