After a strong start in the U.S. Open, Venus Williams has been knocked out of the second round by Zheng Jie of China, who won the match 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).
“I definitely wish that I was playing the third round, but it’s not to be for me this year,” Williams said. “I tried. Really, she played well. She just went for every shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t play consistently enough.”
The match tied for the fifth-longest women’s bout since 1970. It lasted for 3 hours and 2 minutes.
After the match, Zheng addressed the partisan crowd that was rooting for Williams, saying: “First, I want to say, ‘Sorry, guys.'”
Venus Williams, who has been recently plagued with a nagging back problem and an autoimmune disorder, Sjogren’s syndrome, pledged that she would fight her way back to the top.
“I’ve had a tough set of circumstances to work through, too, especially this year, last year and the year before,” she said with a smile. “You know, I’ve been dealt some cards that aren’t as easy to deal with, but I have to play with them. The last few months haven’t been easy, coming back from the back injury, one of the more challenging injuries I’ve dealt with. I feel like it’s definitely affected my game, but I’m working on it. I’m a fighter. Just like today, I didn’t play my best, but I tried as hard as I could. You know, tried not to get down.”