In her first round of competition at the US Open since her retirement, Venus Williams was defeated. Tuesday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Williams fell to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium, 6-1, 7-6 (5); younger sister Serena had triumphed the previous evening.
After skipping the competition the previous year, Venus Williams loses to Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round of the US Open
Venus, who turned 42 in June, hasn’t stated anything regarding her tennis career in the future. Venus responded, “Right now, I’m just focusing on the doubles,” when asked if retirement had been on her mind. For the first time since 2018 anywhere, the Williams sisters will pair up in doubles this week.
They will play on Thursday, barring inclement weather or other delays, when they take the court to play the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova. So how did that tournament result in the duo that has won 14 Grand Slam titles reuniting? “Serena had the idea.
I follow her instructions since she is the boss,” Venus stated. “We’ve got some outstanding victories. A few more would be wonderful to include. When asked if it had been difficult for her to witness Serena make such important career decisions at this time in her life, Venus responded, “We have a significant impact on one another, and I have a significant impact on her.
For me, I just kind of felt like my job is to make sure I don’t influence her in any way and that this decision needs to be entirely her family’s — the newest member of the family, I suppose I should say because obviously, we are family — because we are family.” Venus, who reached the final in 1997 as a teenager and took home the championship in 2000 and 2001, made her 23rd trip to Flushing Meadows and participated in a major competition for the record-setting 91st time this year.
“She is very important to women’s tennis. In general, tennis,” stated Van Uytvanck. She is legendary. Prior to 2020, Venus had never lost in the first round of the US Open. She then skipped the event in 2017. Three letters: W-I-N., she said when asked what inspires her these days. I’m done now. Simple as pie.
Venus completely missed the singles portion of the tour from August 2021 until less than a month ago, and she is currently 0-4 since her comeback. Her ranking, which was first 20 years ago, is 1,504 this week. “It was undoubtedly the longest period of time that I had gone without playing tennis or holding a racquet.
So picking up a racket again and trying to adjust as quickly as I could to be ready for the US Open was an entirely different experience for me,” she said. “There are undoubtedly many excellent points played, but ultimately it’s simply rust. Nothing you can do will change it, besides, you know, not getting rusty at some point.
Neither Williams made it to the other’s first-round singles match; Venus said she only saw Serena on TV due to her own early start the following day. Each time, their mother Oracene, and sister Isha were in the visitors’ box. Venus had trouble right on Tuesday, especially with her serve and poorly calibrated groundstrokes, several of which went into the net or landed long.
Venus would wince, fidget with her racket strings, or pull on the brim of her visor after some of her 25 unforced errors. Her two victories on the backhand side were much outnumbered by the ten errors she made. There were only three aces and six double-faults. She lost four of her ten service games despite having faced 12 break points.
Van Uytvanck, a 28-year-old Belgian who is ranked 43rd and had a 1-8 lifetime record at the US Open entering the day, had a 4-0 lead after just 20 minutes. When Venus broke to start the second set and held for a 2-0 lead, she did make a little bit of a stand. However, that would be the only break of the game, and shortly Van Uytvanck was scoring on a volley to seal the victory. Clara Burel, who defeated Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-4, will now face Van Uytvanck.
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