(August 28, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In the longest women’s match of the tournament so far at 3 hours, 2 minutes, 33-year-old American veteran Venus Williams lost to No. 56 Zheng Jie of China 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5) on a Wednesday full of rain.
Rain which began in the early afternoon cause 8 women’s matches to be postponed, including Venus’s younger sister, defending champion Serena who was scheduled to play Galina Voskoboeva on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
This is the third straight year in row that Williams has failed to reach the third round at the US Open.
After playing a mere two points, the match was delayed for almost two hours. Unforced errors were the undoing of Venus Williams. She had 44 unforced errors and only 52% on first serves. Zheng played like a wall, blocking shots back to Williams.
After the match Zheng apologized to the crowd for beating a fan favorite.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” Williams said. “The fans were really fantastic. I love that. I wish I could play some more for that. But obviously I’ll be playing more for that in the doubles.
“I want to come back here just for that at this point. The fans were so behind me. I enjoyed that tremendously.”
“I definitely wish that I was playing the third round, but it’s not to be for me this year,” Williams told reporters.
“I tried. Really, she played well. She just went for every shot. Unfortunately I, you know, didn’t play consistently enough.”
Asked about her health, the seven-time Williams said, “I mean, I’ve had a tough set of circumstances to work through, too, especially this year, last year, and the year before.
“You know, I’ve been dealt some cards that aren’t as easy to deal with, but I have to play with them. You know, the last few months haven’t been easy, you know, coming back from the back injury, one of the more challenging injuries I’ve dealt with.
“I feel like it’s definitely affected my game, but I’m working on it. I’m a fighter, you know. Just like today, I didn’t play my best, but I tried as hard as I could. You know, tried not to get down.
“So, you know, I’ll continue playing matches. You know, for me it would be awesome if I could play another match right away, but unfortunately I have to wait weeks to play. That stops the momentum.
“Maybe this fall I’m going to maybe enter consecutive tournaments, so even if I do have a bad match I can hopefully play sooner so I can just get some rhythm.
This match tied for the fifth-longest women’s singles match (since records have been kept since 1970). The longest recorded women’s match took place in 2011, when Samantha Stosur defeated Nadia Petrova, 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5, in three hours and 16 minutes in the third round.