NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams lost in the first round of doubles at the U.S. Open to the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova 7-6 (5), 6-4 in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night.
Ashe had never hosted a first-round doubles match — for women or men, during the night or day — until this one featuring two American sisters who have combined to claim 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles but were partnering for the first time since the 2018 French Open.
This was their fourth first-round doubles defeat at a Slam; the most recent had been at the 2013 French Open.
As usual when playing together, they traded fist bumps or palm slaps and chatted between points; they smiled while conversing in their seats at changeovers. When the match ended, the sisters hugged each other. They left the court to a standing ovation.
An announced sellout crowd of 23,859 showed up, just like for each of Serena’s two victories in singles so far this week, although the fans were not quite as boisterous Thursday as they had been for those other night matches involving a player who has hinted that this will be the final event of her career. Venus lost in the first round of singles.
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