Venus Williams is OUT of the US Open as the 43-year-old is thrashed by Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-1, 6-1… in what could be the tennis legend’s final match in Flushing

new balance


Venus Williams is OUT of the US Open as the 43-year-old is thrashed by Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-1, 6-1… in what could be the tennis legend’s final match in Flushing

  • The Belgian qualifier dismantled the elder Williams Sister in a 74-minute display
  • Williams exited Arthur Ashe Stadium without much fanfare after the heavy loss 
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Earlier this week, Venus Williams rocked up to the US Open in high heels and a pair of black sunglasses. Streaks of pink hair tumbled on to the collar of a sleek black blazer. She carried her rackets in one hand. In the other? A small leather handbag. 

It was quite the entrance. It was followed by a rather more unceremonious, rather sad exit.

Williams was back on Arthur Ashe for less than an hour and a quarter before her 24th US Open campaign was over. 

The 43-year-old was beaten 6-1 6-1 by Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, who was born barely a week before Williams began her first fortnight here. She reached the final that year – aged just 17. She would go on to triumph in 2000 and 2001. 

See also  ‘Stop the monster’: Ukrainian tennis chief backs Wimbledon ban on Russians | Tennis

Even this year, her face and her words will remain on the walls around Arthur Ashe Stadium as this tournament celebrates 50 years of equal pay.

The California native was given a wildcard into her 24th US Open tourney earlier this month

The California native was given a wildcard into her 24th US Open tourney earlier this month

74855543 12459357 image a 25 1693356276155

Minnen – who is ranked No. 62 in the world – has already claimed her best Open result since ’21

The two-time US Open champion (R) suffered her most lopsided loss in Flushing Meadows

The two-time US Open champion (R) suffered her most lopsided loss in Flushing Meadows

WHAT’S NEXT FOR VENUS? 

Venus Williams, on her schedule for the remainder of the season, and beyond:

‘I typically haven’t really played after the US Open for a number of years now. I may reconsider that this year because my year didn’t go the way, in any way, shape or form, that I thought it would go. I was really getting good momentum into Wimbledon. That fall really kind of threw me for a loop for the summer.

‘I don’t know. I might. But I don’t know what I’ll do this fall. Definitely too soon to say.’

The role Williams, her sister Serena and others played in dragging tennis into the modern day will never be erased. No matter if this is goodbye. No matter if this is 100 US Open matches and out.

But emotion and memory never were a match for Father Time.

‘I don’t think I played badly,’ Williams told reporters afterwards. ‘I think it was just one of those days where it’s just unlucky.

‘My preparation was definitely minimal,’ she continued. ‘But I don’t think that it necessarily affected the bulk of my performance. I think there are just shots where my footwork wasn’t really there. A lot of backhands I missed where my feet just weren’t there. That’s normal when you don’t spend a lot of time on the court.’

See also  Nick Kyrgios finds Andy Murray ‘most dangerous’ player on grass | Wimbledon 2022

This was Williams’ third first-round exit in four years and she wasn’t here in 2021. Venus has slipped to world No 410 and it showed as she fell to her heaviest defeat at this home Slam.

Afterwards, Williams paid tribute to Minnen and suggested she could be a future Slam winner. Sure, the Belgian rose to the occasion but that felt like a convenient diversion. 

After Serena’s emotional farewell last year, minds will inevitably wander to what comes next for the older sister. In the immediate aftermath, Williams was coy about her future. She loves playing this home slam. But can she enjoy beatings like this?

Venus Williams was unable to contend with 26-year-old Belgian Greet Minnen Tuesday night

Venus Williams was unable to contend with 26-year-old Belgian Greet Minnen Tuesday night

As for her immediate future, Williams says it’s ‘too soon to say’ what she’ll do next. 

‘I typically haven’t really played after the US Open for a number of years now,’ Williams told reporters. ‘I may reconsider that this year because my year didn’t go the way, in any way, shape or form, that I thought it would go. I was really getting good momentum into Wimbledon. That fall really kind of threw me for a loop for the summer.

‘I don’t know. I might. But I don’t know what I’ll do this fall.’

The story of the first set was told by the clock rather than the scoreboard. It was not a one-sided blow out. Minnen did not steamroll through Williams. Instead, over 44 minutes, these two traded chance after chance. 

Williams made it all the way to the final during her debut at the New York slam during 1997

See also  Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open participation in doubt over visa row | Australian Open 2022

Williams made it all the way to the final during her debut at the New York slam during 1997

The key difference? Venus failed to take a single of her five break-point opportunities. Minnen earned six and took three of them. It was yet another reminder of how tennis so often turns on so few points. And it proved particularly crucial here because, by the end of the first set, Williams had started to flag. 

There were foot faults and visible signs of fatigue among the odd burst of defiance. Williams had given herself a mountain to climb – losing each of her first two service games – and she simply couldn’t muster any answer. It was almost cruel the way Minnen used drop shot after drop shot to drain her ageing opponent.

The second set was a more depressing watch. After Minnen raced ahead once more – and long after this match had moved beyond Venus – she wandered towards her corner. The message came down the box: up the intensity. It was wishful thinking.

There was one final stand: at 5-0 down in the second set, Williams dug deep to get herself on the board once more. But before long, her fate was sealed and she made her exit.

new balance



Source link