Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Venus Williams bows out at U.S. Open

August 29, 2013 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
Venus Williams won the women's singles title at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001.
Venus Williams won the women's singles title at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Venus Williams losing in the first round of the U.S. Open
  • The two-time champion beaten in three sets by China's Zheng Jie
  • U.S. 15th seed Sloane Stephens breezes beyond Urszula Radwanska
  • Defending champion Andy Murray begins his campaign with a straight-sets win

(CNN) -- Two-time champion Venus Williams is out of the U.S. Open following a battling 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) second-round defeat to world No. 56 Zheng Jie.

Former world No. 1 Williams, currently ranked 60th, fought bravely against her Chinese opponent before eventually losing in three hours and two minutes.

The marathon encounter was the joint fifth-longest women's singles match in the tournament's history.

In recent years Williams has struggled with form and fitness and entered the New York tournament with a back injury. She was diagnosed with the auto-immune disorder Sjogren's Syndrome at Flushing Meadows two years ago.

Read: Is Roger Federer's legacy vulnerable?

'Golden Bear' on tennis love
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon men's final

"I think there's a lot of positives for me out of this tournament. I continue to serve better and recover [from] my back injury with each tournament," the 33-year-old told the event's official website.

"I'll just continue to step up and give myself chances. A lot of times I'm putting myself in a good position but not always capitalizing. So I'll get there. I just have to keep working at it."

Williams' compatriot Sloane Stephens is at the opposite end of her career and the 15th seed continued her rise to prominence with a commanding 6-1 6-1 defeat of Poland's Urszula Radwanska.

Read: Why women "owe" Billie Jean King?

"I came out with a really good attitude and I think it showed," said the 20-year-old, who plays fellow American and 23rd seed Jamie Hampton in the second round.

"I think every point was the only thing on my mind. That's what happens when you really, really, really want to win."

Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, Urszula's older sister, fared better than her sibling, beating 103-ranked Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-0 7-5.

Tennis stars help Sandy victims
Serena Williams faces test in U.S. Open

In the men's draw defending champion Andy Murray made light work of his first-round match with Frenchman Michael Llodra.

The 2013 Wimbledon winner, seeded third, secured a 6-2 6-4 6-3 win to set up a tie with Argentina's Leandro Mayer.

"I felt comfortable before the match. I didn't feel any extra pressure, which was good," said Murray, who is defending a grand slam title for the first time.

"I was just ready to play... There were no of unknowns out there on the court. I've played many matches there ... I didn't feel loads of nerves before the match. I just wanted to get on."

American veteran James Blake bid farewell to his home grand slam with an agonizing five-set loss against Croatia's Ivo Karlovic.

The 33-year-old Blake announced on Monday this would be his last tournament, bringing the curtain down on a 14-year professional career.

Two past champions will meet in the second round after both Juan Martin del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt chalked up opening victories.

Sixth seed Del Potro saw off spirited opposition in the shape of Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while former world No. 1 Hewitt beat U.S. wildcard Brian Baker.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
ADVERTISEMENT