Venus Williams crashes out in Wimbledon first round
June 26, 2012 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Williams lost in the opening round at Wimbledon for the first time since making her debut 15 years ago.
- Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams suffers first-round loss
- Williams loses 6-1 6-3 to Russia's Elena Vesnina but quashes retirement talk
- Early victories in women's draw for Maria Sharapova and China's Li Na
- Qualifier Carmila Giorgi beats Italian compatriot and No. 16 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-3
(CNN) -- Five-time champion Venus Williams went out in the opening round of Wimbledon for the first time as she slumped to a 6-1 6-3 loss to Russia's Elena Vesnina.
The former world number one started the match with two double faults and was never able to match the energy of Vesnina, ranked 79 in the world.
Williams came into the match on the back of her toughest year in tennis following a six-month break battling Sjogren's Syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disease that causes chronic fatigue and joint pain.
She was unseeded at the All England Club for the first time since her debut in 1997, having dropped to 58 in the world rankings.
Djokovic and Federer cruise through in men's singles
Becker: Venus Williams' future in doubt
Janko Tipsarevic's goal for Wimbledon
Andy Murray's secret weapon
Kvitova and Navratilova's Wimbledon
However, Venus quashed talk of retirement following the defeat.
"There's no way I'm going to give up. I love this sport," the American said in her post-match press conference.
"I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. The only thing I can do is be positive."
Williams was the most high-profile casualty so far of an opening day in which most of the women's seeds came through unscathed.
Current world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, fresh from her victory at the French Open earlier this month, began her assault on the title she won as a teenager in 2004 with a 6-2 6-3 win over Australian Anastasia Rodionova.
Game, set and match: What Wimbledon says about the British
The No. 3 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska from Poland, wasted little time in wrapping up a 6-3 6-3 win over Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Australia's Samantha Stosur, the No. 5 seed, beat Carla Suarez Navarro, from Spain, 6-1 6-3.
China's Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion, quickly wrapped up a 6-3 6-1 win over Ksenia Pervak from Kazakhstan while Sabine Lisicki, the German No. 15 seed, recorded a 6-4 6-2 victory over Petra Martic.
Two-time champion Kim Clijsters, playing in her last Wimbledon, beat former world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2 6-4.
One upset of the afternoon came courtesy of Italian qualifier Carmila Giorgi, who beat compatriot and No. 16 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-3, while No. 27 seed Daniela Hantuchova was beaten 6-4 7-6 by American Jamie Lee Hampton.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.