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Serena and Venus Williams lost their first-round US Open doubles match against the Czech Republic team of Linda Nosková and Lucie Hradecká on Thursday night in what’s expected to be their final time on the court together.
While the first set was a back-and-forth battle between both teams, the second set was all Hradecká and Nosková until the Williams sisters fought to tie the set at 4-4. But Hradecká and Nosková would win the final two games to collect the win and move on to the next round.
This was the first time we’ve seen the Williams sisters on the court together since the 2018 French Open. That gap and inexperience in recent years showed itself, as their communication wasn’t as crisp as we’ve seen in the past.
The first game of the night went to the Williams sisters, as Venus Williams took the first serve. It would go back and forth without a break up until that tiebreaker was needed.
The Williams sisters were leading the tiebreak until Venus Williams double faulted, giving the momentum to the Czech team. They would use it, down 5-4, to score the next three points with Hradecká whipping a backhand down the line to win the set.
The second set didn’t have the same intensity, though the Williams sisters started to turn it on after being down 3-0. They took the fourth game to at least get back into the match, but Hradecká and Nosková won Game 5 to quickly stop their opponent’s confidence.
Serena Williams still has some tennis left to play in Flushing, but Venus Williams lost her match against Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1, 7-6 (5) at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first round. Serena Williams will face Ajla Tomljanović on Friday night.
Venus Williams did not specify if she’s retiring after the US Open, but now that she is done playing in this tournament, the talks will only intensify. Her sister said it was time to step away from the game before heading into the US Open.
If this is the end for the Williams sisters in doubles, they will go down as one of the most dominant duos in history. They are 14-0 in major doubles finals, and it’s the second-most wins in women’s doubles history. Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver won 20 titles in the 1980s.
The Williams sisters won the US Open doubles championship in 1999 and 2009.