LONDON, England — Venus Williams crashed out of the Olympics today as German seventh seed Angelique Kerber clinched a surprise 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) victory over the five-time Wimbledon champion.
Venus was hoping to emulate her singles gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney, but Kerber, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last month, was a deserved winner after a dynamic third-round display on Court Two at the All England Club.
Kerber, 24, will face world number one Victoria Azarenka for a place in the semi-finals.
Venus can still win the fourth gold medal of her career if she and sister Serena successfully defend their women's doubles title.
Venus, who has been struggling for the last few months with an autoimmune disease that leaves her fatigued, had only herself to blame for a sloppy performance including 36 unforced errors and seven double-faults.
Even when she got herself in a commanding position in the first set tie-break after moving 5-2 ahead, she was unable to take advantage.
Kerber won four points in a row and, at set point down, Venus had a forehand winner in her sights, but blazed it long before walking back to her chair gesticulating angrily.
When Venus responded by breaking Kerber at the start of the second set, it seemed that outburst of emotion would spark a revival. But Kerber broke back and the set went to another tie-break.
The German was playing with real poise and power and Venus looked rattled. She was missed too many ground strokes and one more wayward forehand gave Kerber the win and revenge for a doubles defeat with Sabine Lisicki against the Williams sisters on Tuesday.