Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
Venus Williams bowed out of the women’s singles at the U.S. Open on Sunday, losing to Sloane Stephens in the first round after a stunning second-round win in Rome.
The world No. 3 beat defending champion Serena Williams at the Italian tournament on Saturday to reach the second week of the competition. She then rallied to beat Madison Keys to reach the final, with Stephens following suit a couple of hours later.
Stephens was the only player to beat Williams at the U.S. Open in 2016, ending an 87-day losing drought at the tournament. The victory came in Williams’ final tournament, where she won the gold medal in the singles and was the runner-up at the doubles.
Williams’ win was her seventh career title at the US Open and also extended her streak in major singles titles to 18, most without a title before Saturday night. She has a career-high 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including 17 in her career.
“We are both going to cry tears of joy,” Williams said. “I wasn’t really in a good emotional place, but I’ll tell you what I really wanted to do, and that’s go the distance. She had nothing to lose. I feel extremely blessed.”
She was asked if she needed to go the distance to win the Slam title.
“I think I definitely could have gone the distance (in Rome),” said Williams, adding that she could have kept going into the final. “It was just very important that I didn’t.”
”It was probably one of the most difficult matches I’ve played my entire life. It was so special for me and to be able to win here was definitely special.”