Serena and Venus Williams eliminated from us in open doubles by Czech duo
After losing in the first round of the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York in straight sets to the Czech combination of Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka, Serena Williams’ glittering doubles career is likely over.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion and 14-time Grand Slam doubles champion still have to face Australia’s Aila Tomlyanov on Friday in the third round of the singles tournament. On Tuesday, Venus Williams fell in the first round.
In all likelihood Serena and Venus’ doubles match Thursday night was their last together. The Czech Republic’s Noskova, who is 17, and Hradecka, who is 37, won 7-6(5), 6-4 to advance to the second round.
Hradecka told the 23,000+ crowd in a courtside interview immediately after the match: “I think we did a really good job and I’m very sorry for you that we beat them, but we’re so happy that we did.” In doubles play, she and Noskova played together for the first time.
The Williams tandem got off to a great start, leading 5-4 in the first set with two set points. However, the Czechs came back and won the set. Hradecka and Noskova trailed similarly in the tiebreak before coming back to win the final four points.
When they were leading 4-1 in the second set, it looked like they would cruise to victory. However, Venus and Serena won three games in a row to reach the tiebreak. But the Czech kept her serve intact to take a 5-4 lead, and in the deciding game, Hradecka broke Serena with a backhand between the sisters of the net.
The Williams sisters received a doubles wild card into the US Open. In their last doubles match together at the 2018 French Open, they advanced to the round of 16 of the tournament.
Serena won her singles match against Annette Kontaveit 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 on Wednesday. Williams’ announcement in Vogue magazine that she would “retire from tennis” after the US Open was her fourth match since making the announcement.
“I never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t seem like a modern word to me. I thought of it as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use this word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Williams, 40, said in a Vogue article published earlier this month.
“Perhaps the best word to describe what I do is evolution. I am here to inform you that I am moving away from tennis to other things that are important to me,” she noted. When it comes to her tennis career, 42-year-old Venus Williams is mysterious.
They have won a total of 48 Grand Slams between singles, doubles and mixed doubles and would have a perfect record in doubles finals if they retire this year (14-0). They also won a total of three Olympic gold medals in pairs and one individual gold medal between them.
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