Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
LOS ANGELES, April 7 (Reuters) – Venus Williams will retire after her first-round win at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old American, who became the first woman not ranked in the top five in the Open since 2000 and the first to win the title since Steffi Graf in 1992, will sit down after losing the first set to American qualifier Caroline Wozniacki of Germany 6-4 6-2.
Williams, the world No. 1, will be replaced for the tournament by Jelena Ostapenko, who has won 11 grand slam singles titles, including a second-round win at the U.S. Open in 2009.
Williams finished No. 7 at the tournament, with Ostapenko in second.
“I feel like the U.S. Open is the biggest tournament of the year. It’s hard to describe. It’s the best tournament on the planet,” the former world No. 1, who is in her fifth tour-level season, said after her victory.
“It’s been fun. I’ve always enjoyed playing in big tournaments.”
Williams broke Wozniacki on her first serve in the first game of the morning and then went on to break the Dane six times in the opening set before she took a three-set lead.
“I knew I was going to be out there. I know she’s a good player and I knew that she could play well,” said Williams, who has never been outside the top 10 at the U.S. Open on the ATP Tour.
“I was like, ‘Okay, go do this, go do that.’ I felt like I played fine and gave out a lot of points I could have given out.”
Ostapenko, who has won the title each year with her former coach Ivan Lendl, said Williams’ performance was “really, really good”.
“I’ve played more matches with her than with any other player I’ve played this year, and she’s played great.
“Overall, I think I played very, very well.”