Venus and Serena Williams are out of the US Open women’s doubles in the first round after losing 7-6 (5), 6-4 to the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova on Thursday night before another packed crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
After Hradecka slotted a backhand volley winner on match point after 2hr 5min, the announced sellout crowd of 23,859 fans saluted the Williams sisters with a standing ovation as they hugged one another and walked off the court.
With Serena having strongly hinted that she will be retiring after this year’s US Open, it marked the likely final appearance of the Williams-Williams team, who have combined to win 14 grand slam titles (with a sterling 14-0 record in finals) along with three Olympic gold medals as a team.
“I’m still in shock that we won,” Hradecka said to the crowd in an on-court interview. “I’m so sorry for you that we beat them, but we are so happy that we did it.”