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Venus Williams crashes and burns

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Elena Vesnina of Russia celebrates a point during her womens singles first round match against Venus Williams of USA on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2012 in London, England. (credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Wimbledon 2012 has begun with a shock after Venus Williams lost in straight sets to Elena Vesnina

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Five-time champion Venus Williams is out of this year's Wimbledon after crumbling to a 6-1 6-3 defeat to the Russian Elena Vesnina.

The 32-year-old American, who was unseeded for this year's tournament after struggling with Sjogren's syndrome for the last nine months, never looked at ease on the grass.

Williams, champion at SW19 in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008, never recovered after losing the first five games to the Russian, who is ranked 79th in the world after enduring a poor recent run of her own.

Vesnina was ranked as high as 22 in October 2009, a year when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and the third round of the US Open.

She can now be backed at 150/1 to win this year's tournament while Serena Williams is available at 3/1, Caroline Wozniacki at 40/1 and the number one seed Maria Sharapova at 2/1.

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Venus served poorly throughout and, although she did improve in the second set, she was well-beaten by the hard-hitting Vesnina who held her nerve to progress.

Williams has won two other Grand Slam titles during her career - the US Open in 2000 and 2001 - but there are now real fears that she could have played her last singles match at Wimbledon.
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Venus Williams crashes and burns

Wimbledon 2012 has begun with a shock after Venus Williams lost in straight sets to Elena Vesnina

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