CHARLESTON, S.C. — Venus Williams couldn't dig herself out of a hole this time and lost to Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 at the Family Circle Cup on Thursday.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Venus Williams couldn't dig herself out of a hole this time and lost to Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 at the Family Circle Cup on Thursday.

The 33-year-old Williams had fought back in each of her first two matches to advance. She seemed to follow the same game-plan in this one, rallying from a set down to win the second set and lead 2-1 in the third.

That's when the 20-year-old Canadian, took over, breaking Williams' serve twice down the stretch including the final game.

"She played a lot more consistently than I did," Williams said. "I think my errors really hurt me a lot today. Just a lot of up and down, a lot of errors."

Williams' defeat was part of a difficult day for past champions of the clay-court event. Along with 2004 winner Williams, two other previous Family Circle champs in Sabine Lisicki (2009) and Samantha Stosur (2010) lost third-round matches.

Lisicki, the fourth seed, fell to German countrywoman Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-0. Stosur, seeded seventh, was beaten by No. 9 seed Lucie Safarova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.