Venus Williams remains silent on future of tennis after US Open opening round loss

Venus Williams kept her thoughts on her tennis future to herself after losing in the opening round of the US Open.

The 42-year-old is now ranked 1,504 and has won just one match since the Australian Open in January 2021, but declined to say if she will follow sister Serena into retirement after that tournament.

Broadcasters had been informed that there would be an on-pitch ceremony after Venus’ game against Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, but after the 6-1, 7-6 (5) loss, the American quickly grabbed her bag and left Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Asked about her future afterwards, the six-time Grand Slam singles champion said: “At the moment I’m just concentrating on the doubles.”

The sisters will play doubles together at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2018 while Serena makes the most of her farewell event.

Together they have won 14 Slam titles and won every final they have competed in, and Venus said, “It was Serena’s idea. She’s the boss, so I do what she tells me. We’ve had some great wins. It would be nice to add something else.”

Serena was honored before and after her first-round win over Danka Kovinic on Monday night amid an electrifying atmosphere.

Serena Williams dives into the love of the New York crowd (John Minchillo/AP)

(AP)

“I definitely saw it,” Venus said. “I wanted to be there, but of course I had an early start today. The first round is never easy. It was definitely an exciting evening. My hope, of course, is that there is more to come from this tournament.

“We have a great influence on each other, and I have a great influence on her. For me, I just felt that my role is to make sure I don’t influence her in any way and that that decision must be entirely hers and her family’s. The newest member of the family.

“I think she’s had some time to process it and she’s doing it the way she wants to. The important thing is to do things on their own terms.”

The world number one Iga Swiatek swept into the second round with a win over the Italian Jasmine Paolini.

Iga Swiatek felt positive after beating Jasmine Paolini (John Minchillo/AP).

(AP)

Swiatek has not been in top form since her 37-match winning streak ended at Wimbledon, but she had no trouble brushing aside Paolini 6-3, 6-0 at Flushing Meadows.

“I have the feeling that my level is simply better,” said the Pole. “Let’s see if I can hold out.”

Swiatek has been a big critic of US Open balls – the tournament uses lighter balls for women than men – but has tried to keep that and the grueling conditions out of her mind.

“Certainly I’m closer to the assumption than in the previous two tournaments, so that’s pretty nice,” she said.

“I know the conditions are tough, but only the US Open is the fourth Grand Slam of the season, we’ve already played eight months. So I think you can feel more frustration. But honestly, it’s much, much better for me because I’ve been working hard to really relax.”

In the second round, Swiatek faces an intriguing encounter with 2017 champion Sloane Stephens, who bounced back from a poor start to defeat Greet Minnen 1-6 6-3 6-3.

Fourth-placed Paula Badosa also had to serve up against Lesia Tsurenko, while sixth-placed Aryna Sabalenka beat Catherine Harrison 6-1, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who spoke before the tournament about not feeling treated like a Grand Slam winner, saw an early exit.

A call on Court 12 probably wouldn’t have changed that, and she lost to French qualifier Clara Burel 6-4, 6-4.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/serena-williams-iga-swiatek-venus-williams-sloane-stephens-alison-van-uytvanck-b2156184.html Venus Williams remains silent on future of tennis after US Open opening round loss

Fry Electronics Team

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