Venus Williams at centre of 'horrible' controversy after historic US Open thrashing

The seven-time grand slam champion endured a brutal night at the US Open.

Venus Williams walks off the court and Williams reacts during the match.
Venus Williams (pictured) was handed a wildcard into the US Open but was knocked out in brutal fashion. (Getty Images)

Tennis fans are questioning why Venus Williams was granted a wildcard into the US Open, only to be knocked out in brutal fashion on Tuesday (local time). A two-time US Open champion, the 43-year-old hadn't won a singles match at her home grand slam in two years and was put up against qualifier Greet Minnen when Paula Badosa withdrew before the tournament.

Williams would have fancied her chances in her 100th match at the US Open, but she was helpless against the Belgian 26-year-old, who raced through the match 6-1 6-1 in just one hour and 13 minutes. The loss marked her most lopsided defeat at a US Open and means she only has one singles win on the tour since Wimbledon.

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Williams was devastated at the loss and waved goodbye to the crowd after the painful defeat, with many predicting this year's US Open to be her last. Others lamented the fact Williams had been granted a wildcard due to her standing in American tennis, with many believing others would have been more deserving.

There is no doubt Williams will go down as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. But her decline at the age of 43 was on show in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Handing her a wildcard with no wins in her past two attempts in the grand slam has caused a debate. Reporter Christopher Clarey hit out in defence of the US Open and claimed a wildcard is aimed to also help the tournament.

"The purpose of a wild card is not just to help young players on the rise. It's to help the tournament," he wrote. "Venus Williams taking part in the US Open, even if she loses in the first round, still creates interest in the US Open. This is not eternal, however."

Venus Williams poses with Greet Minnen.
Venus Williams (pictured left) lost to Greet Minnen (pictured right) in the night session in just one hour and 13 minutes. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Clarey's case was clear, with celebrities coming out to see the legend play at Flushing Meadows. Although not everyone shared Clarey's view.

Many felt it was painful to watch Williams lose in such brutal fashion on the night session. Many also pointed out that fans had bought night session tickets, but would most likely have been disappointed to see the match end in a little more than an hour. The situation got even worse when Carlos Alcaraz's match was also cut short when Dominik Koepfer retired hurt in the second set.

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After the match, Williams was full of praise for her opponent. "I have to give credit to my opponent," she said in the press conference.

"I mean, there wasn't a shot she couldn't make. Even when I hit really amazing shots, she just hit a winner or a drop shot. I don't think I played badly. I think it was just one of those days where it's just unlucky."

Venus Williams speaks to the media.
Venus Williams (pictured) shut down speculation surrounding her next career move after her US Open loss. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

When asked on what was next for her, Williams was defiant. "I wouldn't tell you, so...I don't know. I don't know why you're asking," she said to a reporter.

While questions remain over Williams, Minnen was thrilled with her win and full of praise for the tennis legend. "Incredible to play a legend like [Williams]," Minnen said during her on-court interview. "I have huge respect for her, to be there at 43 years old, it’s amazing."

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