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Venus Williams out in 1st round at Australian Open

  • Ekaterina Makarova of Russia reacts during her first round match against Venus Williams of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

    Ekaterina Makarova of Russia reacts during her first round match against Venus Williams of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

  • Venus Williams of the U.S.  reacts during her first round match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

    Venus Williams of the U.S. reacts during her first round match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

  • Ekaterina Makarova of Russia reacts during her first round match against Venus Williams of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)
  • Venus Williams of the U.S.  reacts during her first round match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

MELBOURNE, Australia – Venus Williams lost in the first round at the Australian Open for only the second time, with her serve and concentration letting her down when it counted most today in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Ekaterina Makarova.

The seven-time Grand Slam winner breezed through the first set against the No. 22-seeded Makarova, who had an upset win over Serena Williams in the fourth round at the 2012 Australian Open.

She had chances in the second, missing a breakpoint opportunity to go up 4-2, and then serving three consecutive double-faults after leading the ninth game 40-30 to surrender a crucial break.

Williams led 3-0 in the third set but Makarova rallied strongly to advance to the second round. Williams was playing the Australian Open for the 14th time and the highlight remains a run to the final in 2003.

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