Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) — Venus Williams has bowed out in her first Grand Slam tournament, losing Friday in the first round of the U.S. Open on the fourth court at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 20th-seeded Williams, a four-time U.S. Open champion, had won 12 straight matches at Grand Slams but was outclassed by a resurgent Serena Williams, the top-ranked player in the world.
Williams, who was playing the first round for the 20th time this season, lost 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-1. She has now also fallen at the U.S. Open twice on the first day.
“Of course it’s tough,” said a clearly frustrated Williams. “I was a little bit hoping that I could play a full match because I wasn’t playing well the last couple of matches. Today was the first day that I wasn’t playing well, and I am not used to that.
“The way I play, it’s a different feeling, so it’s a little bit disappointing. … Today I wasn’t able to play my game, so that’s kind of disappointing.”
Williams, a four-time U.S. Open champion, became the first woman to reach the third round of four major tournaments since Martina Navratilova in 1990.
Serena, now 19-1, was the first woman to reach the third round at a major since Billie Jean King at the U.S. Open in 1979.
Williams’ best chance was to get the match back on serve. But her serve never got close to the serve of the 29th-seeded Serena, who is hitting more winners over the entire match for the first time this year.
“This is definitely the way it’s been, especially against Serena, I can’t let them get into my head. I have to stay positive,” the former No. 1-ranked player in the world said.
Williams, who won three majors at the U.S. Open before losing the French Open final in 2005, never looked like she had an answer left in the match. Serena went 15 consecutive games without breaking