Kenin dropshot or crosscourt forehand winner as the American lost serve to trail 2-5.
Then serving for the set, Kenin struck three forehand winners before striking a crosscourt backhand winner to set up set point number two.
Kenin sent an aggressive serve down the tee which Williams netted in a down the middle forehand return to trail 2-6.
Additional errors from Williams coupled with more aggressive baseline play from Kenin sent the younger American ahead 2-0 as she held her initial serve of the second set to win her seventh game in a row.
Williams then struck an overhead winner as well as a down the line backhand winner to reach 2-1.
Both players then held their following service games to send the game score to 3-2.
Kenin then served up a dramatic eight minutes long service game. At the third deuce, Williams struck a crosscourt backhand return winner which landed right on the sideline to set up breakpoint.
Kenin kicked the clay mark which grew loud boos from the French crowd who no doubt hoped to lift Williams to another trademark three set comeback.
Then after pulling to a fourth deuce, on the fourth breakpoint of the game, a Kenin crosscourt backhand hit the net before landing wide. Williams broke serve to pull even at three games all as Kenin tossed her racket in anger.
Williams then showed a brief flash of her best tennis as she struck a crosscourt backhand winner which she followed up with three aces to hold serve and lead 4-3.
With Kenin serving; however, Williams committed two forehand errors as well as two backhand errors to level the set at four games all.
Both Americans then held their following serve games to reach five games all before Williams committed several additional groundstroke errors to drop serve and trail 5-6.
Williams would hold a breakpoint in a two deuce game before Kenin struck a crosscourt backhand winner to set up match point two. A Williams down the line backhand landed long to end the match.
Williams returns to grand slam action at Wimbledon in London, England July 1st-14th.