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No farewell Major for the Williams sisters as Venus, Serena lose in first round of doubles

14-time Grand Slam doubles champions Venus Williams and Serena Williams went down in straight sets to a Czech duo playing together for the first time

The Williams sisters at the 2022 US Open The Williams sisters at the 2022 US Open Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

There won’t be any final Grand Slam winning run for the Williams sisters as the 14-time Grand Slam women’s doubles champions were knocked out of the US Open in the first round by Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova on Thursday night.

Playing the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the evening session, the Williams sisters looked dazzling at times and rusty at others as the Czech duo saved two set points to win the first set in a tiebreaker.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams of the U.S. during their women’s doubles first round match at the US Open: Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

Hradecka, aged 37, and Noskova, aged 17, are playing together for the first time this week. The Czech duo looked set to win easily as they moved ahead 3-0 in the second set. However, the Williamses fought back to level the set at 4-4.

With Venus and Serena both serving much slower than their fastest deliveries, the Czechs broke once again in the 10th game to complete the 7-6, 6-4 win in two hours and six minutes.

The Williams sisters were making their first appearance in the US Open women’s doubles draw since 2014, and were also playing their first Grand Slam doubles match together since the 2018 French Open. 

While there continues to be speculation if 42-year-old Venus has played her final US Open match, Serena, who has announced that she is evolving away from the sport, will be back on Friday night on Arthur Ashe as she takes on Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the women’s singles event.

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