three double-faults in a row while serving at 0-4 40-0. And with Lisicki’s powerful forehands and serves, the German took the set in only 24 minutes.
Williams steadied her game to hold serve in the opening game of set two before Lisicki, a former Wimbledon finalist, held serve as well to level the set at one game all.
In her second service game of set two, Williams struck a 126 miles per hour serve; however, three double-faults doomed the American’s service game as she was broken to trail 1-2 after her seventh double-fault of the night.
Williams did show flashes of her trademark power tennis as she ripped powerful serves and forehands to hold serve twice more to reach 3-5.
Then serving to stay in the match, Williams sent a slice backhand stab wide before hitting an overhead winner to reach 15 all.
The American then saved two matchpoints while struggling through a four deuce service game.
Lisicki reached match point three after Williams struck a down the line backhand long.
The German then struck a service return deep to the American’s feet which caused Williams to move away from the ball while hitting a topspin down the line forehand which landed wide to end the match after 66 minutes of play.
“I really had an off day,” Williams said. “It was definitely a long wait and tough to not
warm up. My opponent and I were under the same conditions, and she played really well.”
“It’s hard to just, first round, play a player who doesn’t give you any rhythm,” Williams said. “Just a tough draw and bad luck."
In this week’s WTA Tour Rankings, Williams had already lost 585 WTA Tour rankings points from her final round performance last year at this tournament and saw her ranking drop from 15 to 22.
Williams is set to finish her summer hardcourt tuneup schedule next week in Cincinnati, Ohio before competing at the US Open in New York beginning August 31st.