Big leap forward for Biles, shock exit for Williams
AMERICAN gymnast Simone Biles made a flying start to her bid for a record five gold medals in Rio on Tuesday as Serena Williams crashed out of what could be her final Games.
Biles, tipped as the biggest thing since Nadia Comaneci, helped the United States cruise to women's team victory by eight points over Russia, kick-starting her bid for an unprecedented five crowns.
"It's everything and more than I'd hoped it to be," said the tiny Biles, 19, who has set gymnastics alight with 10 world titles in the past three years.
Her life story is Hollywood material after she was adopted and raised by her grandparents from the age of three as her mother struggled with drug and alcohol addictions.
As her Olympic odyssey got under way, another crumbled as defending tennis champion Williams suffered a shock 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in the third round.
Williams, hampered by a shoulder injury, served five double faults in one game of the second set as her own bid to reach five gold medals ended.
The 34-year-old and her sister Venus were earlier knocked out of the women's doubles, the three-time champions' first-ever defeat together in Olympic competition.
"It was a great opportunity. It didn't work out the way I wanted it to but at least I was able to make it to Rio.
"That was one of my goals," she said.
French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also crashed out, losing 6-1, 6-1 to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.