Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Venus out in Round 2; Blake done, Murray wins

Venus Williams winces after slipping on the court during her second-round match against Zheng Jie. Williams, at 33 the oldest woman in the second round, loses in a third-set tiebreaker.

Getty Images

Venus Williams winces after slipping on the court during her second-round match against Zheng Jie. Williams, at 33 the oldest woman in the second round, loses in a third-set tiebreaker.

NEW YORK — After her latest early Grand Slam exit, Venus Williams was asked what the future holds for her at the U.S. Open.

In one breath, Williams brushed aside the unspoken reference to retirement, saying, "I definitely want to come back for the atmosphere."

And in the next, she said, "I mean, next year's Open is so far away right now."

At 33, slowed the past few years by an autoimmune disease that saps energy and hampered much of this season by a bad back, Williams knows by now that such queries are going to arrive, particularly after results such as her 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) loss to 56th-ranked Zheng Jie on a wet Wednesday. It is the third year in a row the two-time champion is out after two rounds.

"If I didn't think I had anything in the tank, I wouldn't be here," said Williams, ranked 60th. "I feel like I do, and that's why I'm here."

On a day rain began falling in the early afternoon, jumbling the schedule, Tampa resident James Blake's career ended shortly after midnight with a five-set loss to Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, 6-7 (2-7), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2).

"I don't know when it's going to hit me," said Blake, 33, who announced this week he would retire after the U.S. Open. "I don't think I'll be sleeping much tonight."

Defending champion Andy Murray did not play his first point of the tournament until 9:55 p.m., making for the third-latest start to a U.S. Open night session. But he wasn't on the court long, beating unseeded Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in about an hour and 40 minutes.

Murray's match began in Arthur Ashe Stadium only after 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro wrapped up a contentious 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) victory over 74th-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez that stretched more than four hours.

Del Potro was irked by his opponent's repeated calls for a trainer to treat his left leg, and Garcia-Lopez kicked a towel and got into an argument with the chair umpire over a ruling to replay a point in the closing tiebreaker.

With men playing in the first round and women in the second, rain delays caused eight women's singles matches to be postponed, including defending champion Serena Williams' match against Galina Voskoboeva.

Venus Williams acquitted herself well for stretches, erasing deficits until she simply ran out of solutions against Zheng, a former top-15 player and twice a major semifinalist.

"I just kept trying to fight," Venus said.

The matched lasted for 3 hours, 2 minutes, tying for the fifth-longest women's match since 1970 at the U.S. Open. The third set alone lasted 11/2 hours.

Near the finish line, Venus faltered. On the final two points, she missed a volley, then a return. She wound up with 44 unforced errors in all.


Featured matches

Men: No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. Rogerio Dutra Silva, No. 4 David Ferrer vs. Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 7 Roger Federer vs. Carlos Berlocq

Women: No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Galina Voskoboeva, No. 2 Victoria Azarenka vs. Aleksandra Wozniak, No. 4 Sara Errani vs. Flavia Pennetta, No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Chanelle Scheepers, No. 7 Petra Kvitova vs. Bojana Jovanovski

TV: 11 a.m., Tennis; 1 and 7 p.m., ESPN2

Venus out in Round 2; Blake done, Murray wins 08/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Judging by those who were asking for them before Saturday's giveaways, those who tried to get an extra one or two once inside the Trop and those who quickly slipped theirs on before finding their seats, the DJ Kitty Onesie might be the Rays' most popular giveaway. Ever.

  2. Rays vs. Rangers, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Rangers

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Florida; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. Gators pick up commitment from 5-star QB Matt Corral


    Florida has picked up a major commitment toward its 2018 recruiting class, getting a pledge Saturday night from quarterback Matt Corral, rated a five-star recruit by Rivals and Scout.

  4. Warren Sapp has firsthand advice as Bucs try to toughen up


    TAMPA — It was a molten morning, surface of Mercury, on the football field at Skyway Park, near Tampa International Airport. Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was working with some Bucs defensive linemen. HBO Hard Knocks crews followed them. Training camp was a week away. Sapp pointed to Bucs …

    Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp made it clear as a rookie that he wasn’t backing down from anyone, mixing it up with the Dolphins during summer scrimmages. [Times file]
  5. Rays Tales: With Rays surprising buyers, a look back at previous deadline deals

    The Heater

    The buildup to this July 31 trading deadline is different for the Rays, for the rudimentary reason that they are working — feverishly, from what we hear — to add on to a team they feel has a legitimate chance to make a playoff run.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) throws a strike to open up the first inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.