Serena Williams’ hopes of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles was dashed after she was defeated by 21-year-old Elena Rybakina at the French Open.
In the fourth round contest, Rybakina thrashed Serena 6-3, 7-5 to progress into the next round.
Serena, 39, was outmuscled by the Kazakh, who will now seek to take advantage of an open women’s draw.
She did everything possible to lift her level but instead became the latest top-10 seed to depart the women’s singles.
Her next chance to equal Court’s Grand Slam singles titles will be at Wimbledon which will come up 28 June.
“It was definitely close,” the three-time French Open winner said. “There is literally a point here, a point there, that could change the whole course of the match.
“I’m not winning those points – they could literally change everything.”