NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams misplaced within the first spherical of doubles on the U.S. Open to the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova 7-6 (5), 6-4 in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night time.
Ashe had by no means hosted a first-round doubles match — for girls or males, in the course of the night time or day — till this one that includes two American sisters who’ve mixed to assert 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles however had been partnering for the primary time for the reason that 2018 French Open.
This was their fourth first-round doubles defeat at a Slam; the newest had been on the 2013 French Open.
As standard when taking part in collectively, they traded fist bumps or palm slaps and chatted between factors; they smiled whereas conversing of their seats at changeovers. When the match ended, the sisters hugged one another. They left the court docket to a standing ovation.
“I’m nonetheless in shock that we received,” Hradecka stated in an on-court interview proper after the match’s conclusion.
Talking to the gang, she stated: “I’m so sorry for you that we beat them, however we’re so glad that we did it.”
An introduced sellout of 23,859 confirmed up, identical to for every of Serena’s two victories in singles to date this week, though the followers weren’t fairly as boisterous Thursday as they’d been for these different night time matches involving a participant who has hinted that this would be the closing occasion of her profession. Serena plays Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night within the third spherical of singles; Venus misplaced within the first spherical of that bracket.
The doubles spectators saved their greatest cheers for a few of Serena’s finest efforts, whether or not aces or putaways or an on-the-run forehand winner. The sisters went up 5-4 early and held two set factors there on Noskova’s serve, however couldn’t convert both.
The loudest second in all probability arrived after a 19-stroke level received by the sisters in the course of the first-set tiebreaker, that includes three swinging volleys by Serena. That put them forward 4-3, and shortly it was 5-3.
However Hradecka and Noskova grabbed the following 4 factors to assert that set. They then jumped forward 3-0 within the second, and after the Williams sisters made it 4-all, the Czech staff pulled away.
The Williams siblings acquired a wild-card entry into this yr’s doubles subject. Serena, who turns 41 subsequent month, and Venus, who turned 42 in June, received doubles trophies on the U.S. Open in 1999 — the yr Serena received her first main singles trophy at age 17 in New York — and 2009.
They’ve a complete of 30 main trophies in singles: 23 for Serena, seven for Venus.
Hradecka is a 37-year-old who received two main doubles trophies with Andrea Hlavackova, on the 2013 U.S. Open and 2011 French Open. Noskova, 17, was making her Grand Slam doubles debut.
“Enjoying towards the Williams sisters,” Noskova stated, “is a particular second for everyone.”
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