Venus Williams - Wimbledon 2023

Venus Williams claims she was ‘unlucky’ in heaviest US Open loss of her career

Venus Williams has claimed that US Open qualifier Greet Minnen ‘can perhaps be No.1’, after she suffered an emphatic defeat to the Belgian.

Williams was beaten, 6-1 6-1, by Minnen in only an hour and 15 minutes, as she faces her third consecutive first round defeat at her home major.

However, the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion was full of praise for her No.97 ranked opponent, “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 dropshot.”

Williams continued, “I don’t think I played badly. I think it was just one of those days where it’s just unlucky. I really have to give credit to her. It was just incredible, honestly. I mean, if she can play like that, you imagine that she can be in the top 10 or perhaps No. 1 or maybe win a Grand Slam, something like that, if she can play at this level.”

There were some concerns for the 43-year-old after she withdrew from the WTA 250 event in Cleveland last week with a knee injury, and she thanked her doctors for enabling her to compete for the 24th time in New York.

“I was really happy to be here (at the US Open). When I had to withdraw from Cleveland, I wasn’t sure that I could be here,” explained Williams.

She continued, “I have to really thank my doctors for helping me to get here. That in itself was a blessing. I love playing here. I gave it my all. I played some great shots, but she had some incredible answers to that. I wish I could have been more prepared for that.”

The former No.1 was asked in press about what the rest of the year looks like for her in terms of competing, and she has not ruled out playing more tournaments.

“I typically haven’t really played after the US Open for a number of years now. I may reconsider that this year because my year didn’t go the way, in any way, shape or form, that I thought it would go,” revealed Williams.

“I was really getting good momentum into Wimbledon. That fall really kind of threw me for a loop for the summer. I don’t know. I might. But I don’t know what I’ll do this fall. Definitely too soon to say.”

Venus Williams in 2023

Venus Williams only played four matches last year, but began the 2023 season with the intention of competing at the Australian Open. However, a hamstring injury meant that she had to miss the opening major of the year and did not return until the grass court season in June.

This is how she has fared in the past eight months:

Win-loss record: 3-7 (30%)

Auckland (WTA 250)

First Round – Beat Katie Volynets, 7-6(4) 6-2

Second Round – Lost to Lin Zhu, 6-3 2-6 5-7

Hertogenbosch (WTA 250)

First Round – Lost to Celine Naef, 6-3 5(3)-7 2-6

Birmingham (WTA 250)

First Round – Beat Camila Giorgi, 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(6)

Second Round – Lost to Jelena Ostapenko, 3-6 7-5 3-6

Wimbledon (Grand Slam)

First Round – Lost to Elina Svitolina, 4-6 3-6

Montreal (WTA 1000)

First Round – Lost to Madison Keys, 2-6 5-7

Cincinnati (WTA 1000)

First Round – Beat Veronika Kudermetova, 6-4 7-5

Second Round – Lost to Qinwen Zheng, 6-1 2-6 1-6

US Open (Grand Slam)

First Round – Lost to Greet Minnen, 1-6 1-6

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.