Venus Williams gives classy response to US Open question after losing first matc

Venus Williams was not bitter after her first-round defeat in the US Open – congratulating her opponent Greet Minnen in what was one of the biggest wins of her career. Conversely, the first-round loss was one of Venus’ most lopsided defeats after losing both sets 6-1 to crash out the tournament for the third straight year in the first round.

Williams struggled to get around the court as well as she would have liked, with many suggesting she might be nearing retirement after a legendary career. The 43-year-old – twice a US Open champion as well as finalist on her debut in 1997 – did not discuss or entertain the idea of walking away, and stated that her opponent played an incredible game.

She told reporters after the loss: “I don’t think I played badly, it was just one of those days where I was unlucky. I was really happy to be here. I love playing here and I really gave it my all today.

“It was really great to hear the support. I know the fans have been here for me forever, so that’s fantastic to still have that support even more than ever. So it’s a beautiful thing, and I love the Open.”

The elder sister of Serena, who retired last year, Venus won the US Open in consecutive years in 2000 and 2001.

Williams also has five Wimbledon championships – giving her seven Grand Slam singles titles in total – with her sister defeating her in five Grand Slam finals.

Venus has struggled with nagging injuries over the last few years, only playing four matches in 2022 and 10 matches in 2023. Williams missed a tune-up in Cleveland due to a knee injury – recently stating that she is a ‘professional rehabber’.

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For Minnen, it was an honour to share a court with the iconic Williams. The world No.97 said: “For me, it was incredible to play a legend like her. I have huge respect. To be there at 43 years old, it’s amazing really.”

Minnen added: “Already when I was five, six years old, she was on TV almost every slam. She was going so far in every tournament. She’s always been an amazing player and she still is now. I knew I had to bring my ‘A’ game to beat her.”

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