Serena and Venus Williams' double return at the US Open has come to an end at the first hurdle, after falling to defeat in the early hours of Friday morning. Serena and Venus took on Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova but lost 7-6 (5) 6-4 in New York.
The 14-time Grand Slam doubles champions competed in what is likely to be their final match as a pair. This comes after Serena all but confirmed her retirement from the sport ahead of the tournament. The pair were hoping to roll back the years for one last time after taking to the court at a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.
And, with the crowd behind them, things looked to be getting off to the perfect start, as they moved 5-4 ahead early on to give themselves two set point chances in the opener.
Hradecka and Noskova though were not here to lie down for the sporting legends though and fought back to send the set into a tie break, after 63 minutes of hard-fought tennis. With momentum with them, the Czech pair went on to win the tie break to give them the advantage in set one.
This momentum carried on into set two, as Hradecka and Noskova stormed into a 4-1 lead to move within touching distance of the next round. Remarkably though, the Williams sisters were not done yet though as they battled their way back into it to level things up at 4-4.
The Czech pair held strong though, and saw off the Williams fight back to win the the final two games to take the match in straight sets. For Venus it remains to be seen as to whether she will return to a match court again again, with retirement looming.
For Serena though she will be back in action in the early hours of Saturday morning in the singles event. The tennis great booked a place in the second round of the tournament earlier in the week with a win against Danka Kovinić, meaning she will now take on Ajla Tomljanović for a place in round three.