Venus Williams Suffers Defeat in Return to Tennis

Venus Williams during her first round match on Australian Open in 2018
Venus Williams during her first round match on Australian Open in 2018. Photo by Stephen Bartholomew/IPS/REX/Shutterstock

Former WTA world number one Venus Williams marked her return to tennis on Monday night when she faced Rebecca Marino in the first round of the Citi Open. After starting off the match strong by winning the first set 6-4, Williams slipped up in the second, eventually leading to her defeat of 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

“I didn’t think I played well a lot of the times. Just trying to shake off some rust. That’s just to be expected. All I can do is just play another tournament and play better,” Williams remarked following her loss to the Canadian wildcard.

This is the first competitive singles match that Williams has played in a year, with her last outing coming at the Chicago Women’s Open in August 2021, where she suffered a straight sets defeat to Su-Wei Hsieh in the first round. On the mixed doubles front, however, Williams paired up with Jamie Murray at Wimbledon, where they made it to the Round of 16.

Wiliams’ return to the court extinguished prolonged rumors regarding the player’s potential retirement. Although she had not initially intended to play at Wimbledon, the 42-year-old player was inspired by her sister Serena, who was playing in the women’s singles event, as well as fueled by excitement upon seeing the courts of the All England Club.

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