1st set: *Williams/Williams 3-2 Noskova/Hradecca (*server)
Venus serves. The American jumped out to her 30-0 lead and cemented it with her serve panning to the body too good for Noskova. For her next teen, it’s a great moment when she trades a series of hard forehands with Venus, who is only 25 years older than her. She also scores a point and immediately goes into deuce. Venus has committed another double fault. Her serve was a little shaky today, but eventually Williams held it again.
1st set: Williams/Williams 2-2 Noskova/Hradecca* (* means server)
Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula are the second seed in the women’s doubles. Or they lost to the Canadian/Australian duo of Layla Annie Fernandez and Dahlia Saville.
Back at Arthur Ashe, Noskova serves the court at 30-15 and falls. She’s been down for a while, but she quickly gets back on her feet and holds her serve.
1st set: *Williams/Williams 2-1 Noskova/Hradecca (*server)
Serena’s turn to serve. She maintains her form from yesterday as Williams leads her 40-15. However, with a double fault Czech reversed and she soon put her in second. However, Serena’s powerful serve seals the American’s game.
1st set: Williams/Williams 1-1 Noskova/Hradecka* (* indicates server)
The teenage Noskova made the first Czech serve. Youth knows no fear. She served her ace and made it 30-15. Not a bad decision overall. Another excellent serve of hers helps close out the game.
1st set: *Williams/Williams 1-0 Nosková/Hradecká (* indicates server)
Noskova took a toilet break before the game startsBut meeting the Williams sisters can be nerve-wracking, too. Regardless, Venus serves Noskova first. The experienced Hradecka threw a volley into the net, perhaps getting her on her nerves too, giving the American her 15-0 lead. Venus has some problems early in the ball toss. It was a quiet night and the sun was setting, so it didn’t matter the conditions. Either way, they hold up easily and are on board.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands was in the ESPN booth playing doubles with the Williams sisters. She says her sisters are Hall of Famers based solely on their doubles skills. Mattek-Sands also compliments her Hradecká’s serve, which she rates as one of her best serves on tour.
Then the players go out on the court. First came the Czech team of Linda Noskova and Lucy Hradecka… maybe 4 cheers. I think the next pair will be a bit more of a big reception. But first, all things considered, we get a video presentation where Williams is said to play tennis pretty well. information.
And then they go out: Venus in white and green and Serena in black. I wouldn’t say deafening, but perhaps this was the doubles, reflecting that the stands weren’t yet packed as the evening session crowd slowly lined up. If you want to know, the No. 8 Dodgers 5-3 (probably don’t know).
Williams opponents tonight. A blend of youth and experience. Linda Noskova is still 17 years old and this is her first time competing in a Grand Slam doubles tournament. She currently ranks outside the top 200 in doubles, but that may be due to her inexperience rather than her lack of ability. Her partner is a circuit veteran. Lucy Hradetzka, 37, has been a professional for 18 years and has won her two Grand Slam doubles titles, including the 2013 US Open. No Williams walkover.
We’ve talked many times about the possibility of Serena retiring after the US Open. But will this be the last time we see Venus? She’s an older sister after all, and she didn’t play much last year due to an injury. When she lost her first-round singles match here in New York to Alison her fan Uytbank, she was asked about her future and simply said, “I’m just focusing on doubles right now.” I answered.
In Serena’s brilliance, it’s easy to forget just how good Venus has been over the years. She also won Wimbledon five times, Martina she followed Navratilova (9 times), Serena (7 times) and Steffi her Graf (7 times). Oh, and Flushing her performance at The Meadows isn’t bad, either. She won singles twice and doubles twice in her early 2000s.
Venus and Serena Williams are now 40 and 42 respectively, not at the peak of their careers, but one of them had just beaten world No. 2, and at the time was arguably the most formidable doubles team of all time. How good? Their all-time Grand Slam record as a team is her 125-14. At the Olympics he is 15-1 and in tournament finals he is 22-1.
Together, they have won 14 Grand Slam titles as doubles partners (combined with just 30 singles titles). It’s actually been a long time since they’ve played together at a Grand Slam, reaching the third round at the French Open in 2018. His last Grand Slam doubles title was Wimbledon in 2016.
So what are the chances this time around? If Serena’s phenomenal run in singles continues, it wouldn’t be surprising if she pulled out of doubles to save energy. But make no mistake, even in their 40s, the sisters can still run deep.