Serena Williams loses in first round to Serena Williams

Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open

Molly Holes


Reuters/Danny Moloshok

VENUS WILLIAMS, who struggled with health problems this year but won 24 matches for the United States in her career, was in tears when she lost in her first round match last night, giving a huge sigh of relief to her young family. The 21-year-old from St Louis, Mo. was playing alongside her younger sister Venus Yip, who was serving for the U.S. before she was beaten by a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory by Serena Williams.

“I’m just so thankful for tennis and for my family and for everyone who has been a part of my life,” Williams, who had battled bone spurs in her feet, which have limited her competitive tennis since last June, said after losing the match.

“The most important thing to me is the women’s game of tennis and I think you can’t put a price on that,”

Williams, who will play in the Wimbledon tournament starting in April, had earlier said she had been “heartbroken to lose” and “heartbroken about my career.”

It was Williams’ fifth-round match at the U.S. Open since turning professional last year and the first time she had lost one in straight sets since losing to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the 2008 U.S. Open.

Williams, who won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, including three at the All England club, has struggled with injuries. She had surgery on her left ankle and her right foot after the U.S. Open last year and missed the rest of 2012, but was a force this year.

Williams, whose father Lloyd Williams died of pancreatic cancer last June, said she was not looking to win the title again this year and would try to enjoy the moment.

“I have to take it a day

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