Serena Williams announces she is ‘evolving away from tennis’
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Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova apologised to the US Open crowd after ruining the fairytale comeback of the Williams’ sisters on Thursday night. The legendary siblings were teaming up potentially for the last time ever in their first-round match, but failed to deliver the win that the crowd desperately wanted as they went down 7-6 6-4 against their Czech opponents.
Teaming up together for the first time on over four years, Serena and Venus more than played their part in a combative first set, with Hradecka and Noskova saving two set points in the 10th game before edging the tie-break 7-5 in just under 71 minutes. The sisters then rallied from 3-0 down in the second set, but another break from the Czech pair in the 10th game proved decisive.
With Serena set to retire at the conclusion of the tournament, it is likely the American pair will never be seen in doubles action again. Their legacy as a formidable duo has long been secured though, having won 14 Grand Slam titles and three Olympic Gold medals together.
And sure enough, there was an electric atmosphere for much of the contest, which was replaced by warm applause as they left the arena. For their part, Hradecka and Noskova apologised for their role in spoiling the party.
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It’s not all over for Serena though, with the 23-time Slam winner to go up against Ajla Tomljanovic in the early hours of Saturday morning. The 40-year-old rolled back the years in her second round match to overcome second seed Anett Kontaveit in three sets.
She was roared on by the likes of Tiger Woods, and sure enough, she is set to be backed by more raucous support when she takes on the Croatian. The world No 605 has lifted the title six times in New York, with her last win coming in 2014.
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