Williams' loss Tuesday marked her third-straight first round exit at the US Open
Venus Williams’ next few months in tennis are unclear after the two-time US Open winner was eliminated from the tournament in her opening match Tuesday night.
"I don't know what I'll do this fall. Definitely too soon to say,” Williams, 43, said after her loss to Greet Minnen, an unseeded tournament qualifier.
Williams lost to Minnen in straight sets, both 6-1.
It was her “most lopsided defeat” at the tournament she once dominated early in her career, according to ESPN. The loss was Williams’ third-straight first round exit from the US Open.
She won the tournament back-to-back in 2000 and 2001. This year’s tournament was also Williams’ first US Open without her younger sister Serena Williams, who retired last September.
Williams has faced questions about her own retirement at just about every tournament since her sister retired, especially as injuries have restricted her play this year.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion lost in the first round of Wimbledon last month after suffering a leg injury and then missed the WTA’s last tournament in Cleveland due to a knee injury.
“It wasn’t the year I was expecting,” Williams told reporters after Tuesday’s loss, declaring that “I gave it everything I had.”
“I definitely could have hoped for more throughout the year,” she said. “Honestly, I just had some really bad luck. There were things I couldn’t control. I was really happy to be here. When I had to withdraw from Cleveland, I wasn’t sure that I could be here so I really thank my doctors for helping me get here. That in itself was a blessing.”
Williams said “typically” in recent years she’s opted to not play the rest of the season after the US Open in New York City, but after missing so much play because of injuries in recent months, that may change.
“I may reconsider that this year because my year didn’t go the way — in any way, shape or form — the way I thought it would go,” she said.
Williams was asked a handful of questions after Tuesday’s match that flicked at when she’d decide to retire and why she’s still playing.
The former World No. 1 and four-time Olympic gold medalist said she still feels like there’s a lot left in the tank and largely answered without giving an indication on her future.
“The belief’s always there,” Williams told one reporter about her remaining confidence, telling another who asked about playing competitively at 43 years old, “You should always go for your dreams.”
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