Venus falls in first spherical; focus now on doubles

NEW YORK — Venus Williams has been eradicated within the first spherical of her return to the US Open.

Williams misplaced 6-1, 7-6 (5) to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium on Tuesday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the place youthful sister Serena received an evening earlier.

Venus, who turned 42 in June, has not made any pronouncements about her future in tennis, in contrast to her youthful sibling. Requested after Tuesday’s match if she plans to “evolve away” from tennis like Serena, Venus replied that she’s simply specializing in the doubles competitors.

The Williams sisters will be part of forces in doubles, teaming up for the primary time wherever since 2018 this week. They had been drawn to face the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova within the first spherical.

“It was Serena’s thought,” Venus stated of taking part in doubles collectively on the US Open. “She’s the boss. I will do no matter she tells me to do.”

This was the twenty third journey to Flushing Meadows for Venus, who made it to the ultimate in 1997 as a teen then received the trophy in 2000 and 2001, and her document 91st time taking part in a significant event.

“She means a lot to feminine tennis. Tennis, basically,” Van Uytvanck stated. “She’s a legend.”

Venus had by no means misplaced within the opening spherical on the US Open till 2020, then was absent final 12 months. She was off the tour in singles fully from August 2021 till lower than a month in the past and is now 0-4 since her return. Her rating — which 20 years in the past was No. 1 — is 1,504th this week.

Neither Williams attended the opposite’s first-round singles match; their mom, Oracene, and sister, Isha, had been within the visitor field every time.

Venus struggled from the outset on Tuesday, notably together with her serve and groundstrokes that weren’t calibrated appropriately, with many going into the online or touchdown lengthy.

After a lot of her 25 unforced errors, Venus would fiddle together with her racket strings or tug on the brim of her visor.

Ten of these miscues got here on backhands, far outnumbering her two winners on that facet.

There have been a half-dozen double-faults, simply three aces. She confronted 12 break factors and dropped 4 of her 10 service video games.

Simply 20 minutes in, there was a 4-0 lead for Van Uytvanck, a 28-year-old from Belgium who’s ranked forty third and got here into the day with a 1-8 profession mark on the US Open.

Venus did make a little bit of a stand, breaking to open the second set and holding for 2-0. However that will be her solely break of the match and shortly sufficient, Van Uytvanck was placing away a volley winner to shut out the win.

Van Uytvanck now meets Clara Burel, who eradicated Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina 6-4, 6-4.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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