Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open
It only gets better from here: Venus Williams is done.
This was not supposed to be the final tune-up for the women’s professional tour this season. Only two tournaments, the Australian Open and the Australian Open, are left of the season with three major tournaments still left to go. Yet Venus Williams is done, she said on Monday, in the first round of this week’s US Open. It is not the end of the road for her, it’s just the beginning.
One can only speculate what Venus’s new reality will look like. I can think of two immediate possibilities from a post-Williams point of view. The first would be that after a run of three weeks at a pro tennis tournament, she decides to retire after losing a tough match in the first round. Such a scenario would be bad and cause all kinds of problems for Williams, and would likely leave her without a contract at the end of the season, leaving her in a difficult position with no real money (and thus, no new sponsor) to bankroll her through a new career.
The second option is that Venus can work on her game in practice and in preparation for the rest of her career rather than losing this final chance to make a run at a million dollar prize money. Venus is more than capable of winning this tournament. She has been winning against a good field and will likely be able to do so again in the days ahead, despite the loss of health and fitness.
What is not predictable, but highly likely, is Venus’ move to Miami. There, at least from within the US Open, she will have more distractions of a different nature that will put more focus on her game and her future, but perhaps not on her relationship with John McEnroe.
I imagine that when the US Open draws to a close, there are a few more eyes on Venus Williams. Whether they are looking to help her finish her career or just hoping to watch it, the US Open is a long way from Serena, Venus Williams is in a new place