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US Open 2022: Serena Williams and Venus lose in doubles first round

Venus Williams and Serena Williams

Bengaluru, September 2: One half of Serena Williams' farewell journey is over as the American tennis great and her sister Venus Williams lost in straight sets to Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic in the first round of women's doubles at the US Open 2022.

The Williams sisters had accepted a wild-card entry offered by the US Open 2022 organisers for the women's doubles event.

The pair had not played a major doubles event together since the 2018 French Open, suffering defeat in the third round, and were last paired in New York in 2014, when they reached the quarterfinals.

However, the duo boast 14 major doubles titles and three Olympic gold medals together and were reunited again after the US Open announced the 14 wildcard pairs for the doubles events.

Against the much fancied Czech duo, the Williams sister took the first set to the tie-breaker before caving in meekly in the second to go down 6-7 (5-7), 4-6.

Serena's involvement at the US Open 2022 continues with the 40-year-old set to take on Australian world No.46 Ajla Tomjlanovic in the third-roud of the women's singles on Friday night.

With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena is just one shy of Margaret Court's all-time record as she appears set for one last shot at matching the Australian at the Grand Slam event of the year.

Serena had announced to the world on August 9 that she was getting ready to step away from her playing career, leaving unclear exactly when the end would be, although she hinted it could come at the US Open 2022.

Her first-round match fell into the category of a must-see happening, drawing a record crowd of more than 29,000 to the tournament grounds, including more than 23,000 at Arthur Ashe Stadium and the atmosphere was uproarious and electric from start to finish of her 6-3, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.

And the plot was no different in the second-round match against WTA World No.2 Anett Kontaveit, whom she beat 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-2 in a thrilling encounter which laster 2hrs and 27min.

Serena has now won her last 10 Grand Slam matches against opponents ranked in the top-two, with her last loss coming to Justine Henin 15 years ago at the US Open 2007.

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Story first published: Friday, September 2, 2022, 14:15 [IST]
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