Venus Williams suffers brutal fate in tennis return: 'Tough to watch'

Tennis icon Venus Williams (pictured right) frustrated and (pictured left) Williams waving goodbye to the Citi Open crowd.
Tennis icon Venus Williams (pictured) lost her first singles match on the WTA Tour in nearly a year at the Citi Open. (Images: Citi Open/Getty Images)

Venus Williams enjoyed a competitive return to singles tennis competition after nearly 12 months, but it didn't go to plan after suffering a meltdown in the third set at the Citi Open.

Williams hasn't played a singles match since she lost to Hsieh Su-Wei in the first round at the Chicago Women's Open nearly 12 months ago.

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Despite returning at the age of 42, Williams showed why she is a seven-time singles grand slam winner after taking the first set against Canadian Rebecca Marino.

However, Marino recovered in the second to level the contest as Williams' lack of singles match practice was evident.

Williams jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the deciding set.

But, in what was described as a tough viewing to see Williams struggle, a growing number of double faults cost the 42-year-old as Marino ran out the winner 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Despite the loss, the tennis world was thrilled to see the tennis icon back on the court and playing competitive tennis.

With her sister Serena Williams watching on from the stands, fans were quick to praise Williams for her first singles match in a year.

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Before her return to competitive singles competition, Venus and Serena Williams surprised the tennis world when the duo garnered a packed crowd at a surprise practice session.

Williams, who is not playing at the Washington DC event, arrived early in the morning and was greeted by a huge crowd gathering after word got out the 23-time grand slam champ had made an appearance.

While unexpected, since Serena isn't making her return until the National Bank Open in Toronto, fans were greeted with another teat as Venus took to the court with her sister.

Venus Williams will also compete in Toronto for the first time since 2019.

Venus Williams (pictured) celebrates a point against Rebecca Marino at the Citi Open.
Venus Williams (pictured) made a competitive return to tennis competition at the Citi Open. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) (Rob Carr via Getty Images)

Serena is also making a push for a record breaking 24th grand slam title at the US Open after announcing a packed schedule.

Serena will play in Toronto and also take part in the Cincinnati Open the following week.

It will be the first time since 2015 that Serena will play both events - a clear sign that she'll be playing at the US Open at the end of August.

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