Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Venus Williams bowed out of the U.S. Open in the first round, having won only three games in her previous four tournament appearances.
“I lost to one of the best coaches in the world and that’s pretty incredible,” Williams said of Maria Sharapova. “It was a long match.”
Williams was playing with a broken left foot. She had a foot injury during the first round of last year’s Australian Open, so Williams started the tournament off with a win over Venus Williams’s sister.
She has finished outside the top 10 at the U.S. Open three times, but this was her first time playing at the hard clay of the women’s professional tennis championship.
“I have great respect for Maria Sharapova, but I came here to win the matches I needed to play for,” Williams said. “I’ve been fortunate to win a couple of one-set matches. I haven’t been able to win my way into a second round yet, but I knew once I was down to her level I would give everything I had.”
Sharapova was making her fifth career appearance at the U.S. Open and her seventh appearance in the open-era event at any point of the season. She was coming off a win over Maria Kirilenko in the fourth round on Wednesday.
“I’m not just going to quit,” Sharapova said. “I’m just going to play my game and I’m hoping to win some matches here at this tournament before the end.”
Sharapova is 9-1 on hard courts over the last four seasons, and has a 14-1 career record at the U.S. Open. She’s been there twice before. She has finished at least in the top 10 five times at the tournament.
Sharapova, the world No. 7, has won five tournaments in the last six months. She’s been ranked No. 1 for 13 weeks in a row, which is tied with Caroline Wozniacki for the longest run of consecutive No. 1 rankings in the Open era.