Serena and Venus Williams lost their first-round match at the 2022 US Open on Thursday night.
The sisters faced off Thursday night against Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova in front of a packed crowd, but couldn’t pull off a win in their first match together since 2018. The first set went to a tiebreak, with Hradecka and Noskova winning it 7-5, and they finished off the match with a 6-4 win in the second set.
It was likely the last doubles match of Serena’s illustrious career, with the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion saying last month that she’ll be “evolving away from tennis” after the US Open.
“I’m still in shock that we won because played the first time with each other,” Hradecka said after the match, before apologizing to the Williams sister-favoring crowd. “I think we did a very good job, and I’m so sorry for you that we beat them, but we are so happy we did it.”
Fans gave the Williams sisters a standing ovation as they left the court.
Prior to this year’s competition, the Williams sisters have won a whopping 14 doubles Grand Slam titles together in the past. Their most recent win was at the US Open in 2009, and 13 years later, they decided to go for another doubles title.
Last night, Serena expressed her excitement to be competing alongside her sister. “I’m so excited for doubles,” the youngest sibling said. “I was like, it’s been so long, we’ve got to play it there, we’ve got to bring it back.”
Individually, Venus, 42, has won seven titles while Serena, 40, has 23 to her name.
Serena will continue on in the tournament in the women’s singles. On Wednesday night, she defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit — the second-ranked player in the world — in the second round of the US Open.
Fighting a talented Kontaveit, Serena won the first set in a tiebreak, 7-6, before dropping the second 2-6. She then dominated the third set, winning 6-4 to take the match.
“This is what I do best,” Serena told the crowd after the match. “I love a challenge, I love rising to the challenge.”
Serena said that every match she wins is a “bonus” to her career.
“It’s no rush here,” she said. “I’m loving this crowd. It’s really fantastic. There’s still a little left in me, we’ll see.”
Venus, meanwhile, fell short in her first-round singles match on Tuesday, losing to Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck.
Serena will next face Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovi? in the third round of the women’s singles tournament on Friday night.
Let’s go Serena! You’ve got this!