Serena Williams’ illustrious doubles career is set to ended following her along with her sister Venus were beaten by a straight set to Czech pair comprised of Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka in the opening stage of the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion and 14-time doubles champion is in the finals against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic during the third match of Friday’s singles draw. Venus Williams lost in the first round on Tuesday.
Thursday night may have been the final game in the history of Serena as well as Venus as a duo. They defeated the Czech Republic duo of Noskova 17, and Hradecka 37, made it to the second round taking the match 7-6(5) 7-6(5), 6-4.
“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,” Hradecka told the more than 23,000 spectators during an on-court interview shortly after the game.
The first time that she played together with Noskova on a doubles match.
The Williams team started off well and held two set points, five-point lead in the opening game, but the Czechs came to get back. Hradecka and Noskova were also behind in tiebreakers, but prevailed the final four points.
They seemed to hold an advantage of 4-1 going into their second game, however Venus and Serena were able to take three games in succession to draw the match. However, the Czechs kept their serve intact for a 5-4 lead, after which they broken Serena in the third game , which saw Hradecka striking a backhand into the net between the sisters to determine the match-winning shot.
The Williams sisters competed in at the US Open as a doubles wild card. Their last doubles match was during the tournament in 2018 French Open, when they made it to the round of 16.
Lucie Hradecka, left, and Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic enjoy their victory against the Williams sisters.
On Wednesday, Serena defeated Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 in singles play. It was Williams her fourth win since she made the announcement the news in Vogue magazine she will “evolve away from tennis” following her participation in the US Open.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Williams 40, said during the Vogue article, which was published earlier in the month.
“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she explained.
Venus Williams, 42, hasn’t announced her future tennis plans for the future.
If they decide to both quit the sport in 2018 the pair will leave after accumulating more than 48 Grand Slam titles (singles, doubles , and mixed doubles) together as a family, and with a perfect score in the doubles finals (14-0). They also took home the three Olympic gold medals as doubles players and also was awarded a singles’ gold.