Serena and Venus Williams were knocked out of doubles play by the Czech duo at the US Open


Serena Williams’ illustrious doubles career may have come to an end after she and sister Venus fell in straight sets to the Czech duo of Linda Nosková and Lucie Hradecká in the first round of the US Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles and 14-time doubles champion will still play Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović in the third round of the singles draw on Friday. Venus Williams lost in the first round on Tuesday.

Thursday night could have been Serena and Venus’ last match as a doubles team. The Czech duo of Nosková, 17, and Hradecká, 37, advanced to the second round, winning 7-6(5), 6-4.

“I think we did a really good job, and I’m sorry we beat them, but we’re very happy we did,” Hradecká told the more than 23,000 fans in a courtside interview moments after the game.

It was the first time he teamed up with Nosková in doubles.

The Williams duo started well and had two set points with a 5-4 lead in the first, but the Czechs fought back. Hradecká and Nosková also fell short in the tiebreaker but won the last four points.

She appeared to have a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Venus and Serena were able to win three straight games to tie it up. But the Czechs held serve to go up 5-4 and then broke Serena in the final game with Hradecká hitting a backhand into the net between the sisters for the match winner.

The Williams sisters entered the US Open as a doubles wild card. They last played doubles together at the 2018 French Open, when they reached the round of 16.

Lucie Hradecká, left, and Linda Nosková of the Czech Republic celebrate their victory over the Williams sisters.

Serena defeated Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 in singles on Wednesday. It was Williams’ fourth match since announcing to Vogue magazine that she will “walk away from tennis” after the US Open.

“I’ve never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking about it as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people ,” Williams, 40, said in the previously published Vogue article. month.

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m doing is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me,” he said.

Venus Williams, 42, has not announced her future tennis plans.

If they both retire from the sport this year, they will do so after having amassed 48 Grand Slam titles (singles, doubles and mixed doubles) as a family and with a perfect record in doubles finals (14-0). They also won three Olympic gold medals in doubles and each of them won a singles gold.

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