Updated: May 18, 2021 12:20:30 pm
A struggling Venus Williams got more than she bargained for in the form of divine intervention when heavy winds resulted in a controversial time violation in her 5-7 6-2 6-2 loss to Anna Schmiedlova at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma on Monday.
After taking the first set 7-5 despite being 5-2 down, 40-year-old Williams was losing her grip on the match when heavy winds forced her to take her time on serve, resulting in the time violation and a confrontation with the chair umpire.
“I can’t control God,” Williams told the chair umpire after going 4-1 down in the second set. “I’m just saying that wind blows and there is nothing I can do about that.
“I can’t control God, talk to him,” the former world number one added, pointing a finger upwards before walking back to the baseline.
Williams lost her momentum as her unforced errors count continued to rise and a brief resurgence in the decider failed to prevent Schmiedlova from sealing her fourth consecutive victory over the American after two hours and 39 minutes.
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