Serena and Venus Williams in never-before-seen moment at US Open

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Serena and Venus Williams in doubles action at the US Open. Image: Getty
Serena and Venus Williams in doubles action at the US Open. Image: Getty

Serena and Venus Williams have joined Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka in becoming the first women’s doubles players in US Open history to feature on centre court in a night session.

In what shapes as the farewell tournament for both Williams sisters, US Open officials gave the American champions top billing on Thursday night and scheduled them on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Unfortunately for the sisters it was no fairytale farewell as they lost 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

It was the first time the Williams sisters, who have won 14 grand slam doubles titles together, have teamed up since the French Open in 2018.

It is also the first time a women's doubles match has been scheduled in the night session in the 141-year history of the US Open.

“It was Serena’s idea. She’s the boss,” Venus said about the decision to play doubles in New York.

While Serena has revealed her plans to step away from professional tennis after the US Open, sister Venus has remained coy on her future.

Many believe the doubles pair-up is an indication that the US Open might be the last tine we see either of the sisters.

Serena turns 41 next month, while Venus turned 42 in June.

The sisters won women's doubles championships at the US Open in 1999 - the year Serena won her first major singles title in New York at age 17 - and 2009.

Serena and Venus Williams, pictured here in action against Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova at the US Open.
Serena and Venus Williams in action against Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova at the US Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

They also have six grand slam doubles titles at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and two at the French Open.

Their most recent grand slam title came at Wimbledon in 2016, and they remain unbeaten in women's grand slam doubles finals at 14-0.

They've also won three doubles gold medals together at the Olympics and a combined 30 grand slam singles titles - 23 for Serena and seven for Venus.

Fans were left in a frenzy after seeing Serena and Venus back in action together on Thursday night.

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Ranked outside the top 600 after barely playing the past three years, Williams sent World No.2 Anett Kontaveit packing and replaced the Estonian in the second seed's slot at the bottom of the draw with a pulsating 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

Any farewell from singles has now been put on hold at least until the 23-time grand slam champion plays Australian No.1 Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday night.

"It's no rush here," Williams said about retiring.

"I'm loving this crowd. There's still a little left in me. We'll see."

Asked if she'd surprised herself by the stunning level of her play, Williams rolled her eyes and said: "I'm Serena. I'm a pretty good player, this is what I do best.

Serena Williams, pictured here in action at the US Open in New York.
Serena Williams in action at the US Open in New York. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

"I love a challenge and I'm rising to the challenge.

"I haven't played many matches, but I've been practising really well. The last couple of matches it's come together. After I lost the second set I thought, 'I've got to give my best effort because this could be it'.

"I'm just looking at it as a bonus. I don't have anything to lose. I've had an X on my back since 1999. I really enjoy just coming out and enjoying it."

Turning 41 next month, the tennis super mum has stunned the sporting world with the breathtaking quality of her play in the opening rounds in New York.

with AAP

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