Barbara Schett stunned No2 seed Venus Williams on Day One, ousting the American
in straight sets 6-4 6-4 in front of a surprised Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.
The shock loss was the first time Williams had been beaten in the opening round
of a Grand Slam since 1997 Wimbledon and the first time in five matches she had
been defeated by the No25-ranked Schett.
During the 92-minute battle the Austrian out-aced (6 aces to 5) and out-served
her opponent (52% first serve percentage compared to Williams' 42%). Williams
floundered six break points and committed a nervous 49 unforced errors, leaving
Roland Garros in its place as her least successful Grand Slam - the second seed
is yet to find her clay court feet, having never progressed past the quarter
final here in five attempts.
Ironically, prior to 1999, Schett had never passed the first round at Roland
Garros. She reached the fourth round last year, falling to former champion
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who went on to beat Williams in the next round.
Schett's triumph signalled the second stunning upset in the women's draw on Day
One, after Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo crashed and burned at the hands of
Germany's Jana Kandarr in earlier proceedings.