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Tennis legend Venus Williams suffers crushing defeat in the first round of the US Open

American tennis legend Venus Williams, a two-time US Open Champion, faced a heart-wrenching exit from the 2023 edition of the tournament in the first round.

The 43-year-old veteran, who arrived at Flushing Meadows with high hopes of advancing past the first rounds, was left reeling by Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen in a clear one-sided match.

Venus Williams' lopsided loss

Venus Williams, who was playing her 100th match in the tournament in her 24th US Open, fell to a brutal 6-16-1 loss to World No. 97 Greet Minnen.

It was a nightmare performance for Williams, marking her third consecutive opening-round loss in the tournament. This defeat was particularly painful as it was her most lopsided loss ever at the US Open.

"I don't think I played badly," Williams reflected after the match. "I think it was just one of those days where it's just unlucky."

Williams went on saying "I have to give credit to my opponent. I mean, there wasn't a shot she couldn't make. Even when I hit really amazing shots, she just hit a winner or a drop shot."

As for Minnen, she commented on the opportunity to face Williams by saying: "It is incredible to play a legend like Williams. She has amazing strokes, amazing serve, so I really tried to play aggressive, make her move as much as possible, even hit a few drop shots, which I'm not used to -- but I'll keep doing it, I think."

Venus Williams' Storied US Open Journey

Venus Williams' relationship with the US Open has been a tale of triumphs, challenges, and unexpected twists.

The tennis icon made her US Open debut in 1997 and quickly made her mark by reaching the final.

Her breakthrough came in 2000 when she claimed her maiden US Open title, setting the stage for a dominant era in women's tennis.

Over the years, Williams became synonymous with the tournament, amassing numerous memorable moments.

Her powerful serves, remarkable athleticism, and unyielding determination led to a second US Open title in 2001, cementing her status as one of the tournament's legends.

However, the latter part of Williams' US Open journey has been marked by adversity. Injuries and fierce competition began to take their toll, leading to a series of early exits.

Her latest loss to Greet Minnen extends a disheartening streak of 12 consecutive early departures from Grand Slam events.

Venus Williams' journey in the US Open, spanning nearly three decades, has been an inspiration to countless tennis fans. While this latest setback has everyone thinking of an imminent retirement for the veteran, her legacy as a trailblazer and champion will remain intact.

As for her plans for the remainder of the year, she remained uncertain, stating, "I don't know what I'll do this fall. Definitely too soon to say."

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