Venus Williams could be reaching a crisis point after losing her fifth straight opening match on Monday, going down 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 to Romanian Sorana Cirstea at the WTA Strasbourg tournament.
The 40-year-old Williams currently ranks 104, just enough to make it into the French Open main draw when the clay Grand Slam starts on Sunday.
The seven-time titleholder at the majors has not won a match since the Australian Open first round more than three and a half months ago.
No. 61 Cirstea from Romania beat the American for the first time in four matches in a series which began in 2010.
Williams was broken six times in the one-hour, 45-minute loss, her sixth from eight matches played in 2021.