Both Williams sisters exited the WTA Auckland event Wednesday. Elder sister Venus withdrew after beating local favorite Jade Lewis 7-6(2), 6-2. Because of Tuesday rain, Venus was scheduled for a second match later in the day against Naomi Osaka but withdrew due to pain in her right arm.
“I love this tournament and I’m really sad that I have to withdraw, but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to be here again this year,” the 36-year-old Venus said.
“Sorry to all my fans in New Zealand 4 yr [love] and support! I [love] you all. Sorry I couldn’t win it for u this year.” she added on Twitter.
Hours later, Serena took the court against fellow American Madison Brengle is what figured to be an easy win. But it was Brengle who took advantage of 88 errors from the former No. 1 to earn the biggest win over her career.
“I really think I played – I’m trying to think of a word that’s not obscene – but that’s how I played,” Serena said.
“88 unforced errors is too much, just way too many. It’s a lot. I can’t expect to win hitting that many errors. I couldn’t get used to the wind; my opponent was playing in the same conditions, and maybe the wind was more suited for her game, but it was really annoying me for whatever reason.
“She obviously did a much better job than I did. I really abhorred the conditions. I don’t think I’ve ever hit 88 errors in my career; I could google that and that’s probably accurate. So there’s no need to look back on such a crappy game!”
Serena was playing her first event since the US Open. And her last tournament title remains Wimbledon.
“When I won that first service game I was just so happy to get on the board and could relax and enjoy it,” Brengle said. “Yesterday I played my first round and I was so nervous – it was the first match of the year – and then today I could enjoy it a little bit more.
“The conditions were really touch – it was very, very windy – and I knew if I tried to turn it into a hitting battle that wasn’t going to work, so I tried to change it up a lot and use my forehand slice, use angles and get as many balls back as I possibly could because I needed to do something different.”
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