Venus Williams retires in the first round of women’s singles at the US Open


A day after her sister Serena advanced to the second round of singles play at the US Open tennis tournament, Venus Williams was not so lucky, losing in straight sets to Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.

Appearing in an Open-era record 23rd US Open, Williams lost her first-round match 6-1, 7-6 (5) at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

She and Serena will play their first doubles match on Wednesday or Thursday. It will be the first time the sisters, who have won 14 Grand Slams as teammates, have played together in a tournament since 2018.

Tuesday’s contest was just the fourth match this year for Venus Williams.

“It was definitely the longest time I’ve been away from tennis and without a racket in my hand,” she said of her one-year gap between competitive matches that ended earlier this year. month. “So it was a whole new experience for me, getting a racket in my hand again and trying to acclimate as quickly as possible to be ready for the US Open, which wasn’t easy.

“Definitely, like, play a lot of great points, but in the end it’s just rust. There’s nothing you can do about it except, you know, not be rusty at some point.”

The 42-year-old was the top player in this year’s draw and it was her 91st time in a Grand Slam main draw, also a tennis record.

Williams was also asked if her sister was walking away from the sport and if Serena needed her support. “I don’t know exactly. I think he’s had time to process it and he’s doing it the way he wants to. That’s what matters most, he’s doing things on his own terms,” ​​he said.

Williams did not disclose her own plans for her long-term tennis future.

“Right now I’m focused on doubles,” she said, adding with a smile that was Serena’s idea. “She’s the boss, so I do whatever she tells me to do.”

Van Uytvanck, 43rd in the world ranking, will face France’s Clara Burel in the second round. In his only previous match, Van Uytvanck won at the 2021 Australian Open.

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