Venus Williams was furious after strong winds sent her a controversial penalty in her loss to Anna Schmidlova at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma on Monday.
After winning the first set 7-5 despite being 5-2 late, Venus, 40, began to lose control of the match, after strong winds forced her to take a long time before paying the serve, to enter a confrontation with the referee.
Venus said to the referee after trailing 4-1 in the second set: “I cannot interfere with the will of God.”
And she continued, “All I say is the wind is very strong and I can do nothing about it.”
“I cannot interfere with the will of the Lord. Talk to him,” added the former world number one, gesturing with her hand at the sky before returning to the back line and directing her speech to the judge.
Venus lost her nerve to continue making easy mistakes, despite her brief resurgence in the deciding set.
Schmidlova scored her fourth consecutive victory over the American player after 2 hours and 39 minutes, by 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
While Venus will try to forget the day as she is still looking for her first clay court victory this season, her younger sister, seeded number one, Serena, took the lead after beating young player Lisa Bigato from qualifying 6-3 6-2.