Serena and Venus Williams knocked out of doubles’ play by Czech duo at US Open
Serena Williams will play doubles for a fourth straight year at the U.S. Open in New York on Monday and Venus Williams will make her first Grand Slam tournament start since the French Open, but the American pair cannot advance past the second round.
A rain delay Saturday postponed the women’s singles final at the tournament, and the Williams sisters were both knocked out of the doubles by Czech players, Dusan Lajovic and Lucie Hradecka.
The loss was the first for the Williams sisters since the French Open in May.
Lajovic and Hradecka started the match with a 6-2, 3-0 advantage, and they held that lead to force a deciding set. That set was a 5-3 victory, and it took the Czechs to win the next three before Serena, at 7-5, rallied her sister to claim five sets and 5-7, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.
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Williams, who has beaten Serena in the finals of three majors before, looked fatigued in her third straight loss and she lost to a quality opponent for the first time this year.
“It was hard,” Williams said. “I wasn’t feeling good. I’m not the same player. I had a tough time on Saturday. But I will be fine.”
Williams, who is one of the most successful athletes in U.S. history, is playing in her 10th career Grand Slam tournament and her eighth this season.
The loss is the first that either of the Williams sisters has suffered in a Grand Slam singles match.
Defending U.S. Open champion Angelique Kerber was also knocked out of the tournament when Hradecka and Lajovic won their deciding sets. Kerber earned a wild card but withdrew from her first-round match when she got to the court with a foot injury. The injury forced her to withdraw from the fourth-round match against fellow American Taylor Townsend, who was eliminated in the third round.