the confidence that she had a chance,” Williams said.
After dropping set one, the American lifted her level of play with more forceful tennis to even the match at one set all.
The 19 year old Russian's confidence was too high however midway through the match as she could sense that the 28 year old Williams was off her power game and the upset could be hers for the taking.
Hitting early from the baseline and executing with a low error count, Kleybanova broke serve then held for a 2-0 third set lead.
Williams, to her credit, fought back after going down 2-4 and 3-5. Then with Kleybanova serving for the match at 5-4, Williams broke the Russian's serve to draw even at 5 all.
But it was more errors from Williams which greatly aided the teenager's surprise victory as Williams would again hit a groundstroke long on matchpoint after two hours and twelve minutes of play.
The American, playing on her weakest surface, for the day converted only six of twelve breakpoints while dropping her own serve seven times.
“I felt like she won by just being aggressive from both sides (of the court),” Williams said. “Against me she had to go for everything and make everything. All her balls landed in today.”
“I think I'm playing really well and I'm moving well on the court and I feel good. I have another tournament to play so I'm focusing on playing positive there.”
The French Open, the second of four of tennis' grand slam tournaments, begins in Paris on May 24th.
In January in the third round of the Australian Open, Kleybanova upset the fifth seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-7(5-7), 6-2 before losing to Jelena Dokic of Australia 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 in the round of sixteen in her best grand slam result to date.
The 5 feet 11 ½ inches tall Russian is known for her Lindsay Davenport type brand of power baseline tennis.