Venus Williams ousted in 2nd round of US Open
Two-time champion Venus Williams said she felt American for the
first time at a U.S. Open as the crowd urged her Thursday in her
6-2, 5-7, 7-5 loss to sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber.
Williams served poorly and stumbled badly for a set and a half
before recovering to make things quite competitive. Williams came
within two points of winning, but dropped five of the last six
Buoyed by chants of ”Let’s go, Venus!” in a mostly empty
Arthur Ashe Stadium – perhaps spectators figured in the second set
that Kerber was on her way to a swift victory – Williams found the
resolve and energy to put aside her 16 double-faults and 60 total
unforced errors and get back into the contest.
”I know this is not proper tennis etiquette, but this is the
first time I’ve ever played here that the crowd has been behind me
like that. Today I felt American for the first time at the U.S.
Open,” Williams said. ”So I’ve waited my whole career to have
this moment and here it is.”
Asked after the match if she’s ready to join Andy Roddick in
retirement, Williams replied: ”No, because if I could have made
two more shots, I probably could have won that match. There’s a big
difference for me because I’m beating myself. I’m not getting
destroyed out there. … If I was out there and people were killing
me, maybe it’s time to hang it up.”
A year ago at the U.S. Open, Williams didn’t get the chance to
play at all in the second round, withdrawing hours before the match
and announcing she had Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease
that can cause fatigue.
While the 32-year-old Williams never has uttered a word
indicating she’s thinking about leaving the sport, she is no longer
the player she once was.
”Being on the losing end of a match like this isn’t a lot of
fun,” Williams said. ”Today all I had was fight, because I didn’t
In addition to her 2000 and 2001 trophies from the U.S. Open,
and five titles from Wimbledon, Williams was the runner-up at major
tournaments seven times. In 16 years of Grand Slam action, since
her debut in 1997, Williams had never gone through an entire season
without making at least one fourth-round appearance at a major.
Until 2012, when she never even made the third round once. She
missed the Australian Open while still working her way back onto
the tour, then lost in the second round at the French Open and the
first round at Wimbledon.
Williams took quite a while to get going against Kerber, who was
a semifinalist in New York last year. Williams was broken each of
the first five times she served and nine times overall.
”It’s been a long time; I usually don’t have that many
breaks,” Williams said.
She only hit one ace, more than 1 1/2 hours into the match, in
her 10th service game of the evening.
Then, after Williams led 4-2 in the third set, and was two
points away from victory while leading 5-4 as Kerber served, it all
came apart again for the American.