Venus Williams knocked out of U.S. Open

7:16 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
Venus Williams
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USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (USA TODAY) - Venus Williams entered the U.S. Open with limited play because of a nagging back injury.

She exited Wednesday after a strong performance by Zheng Jie of China, who knocked off the two-time champion 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).

The match was the longest on the women's side so far in the tournament, 3 hours, 2 minutes.

It's tied for the fifth-longest women's match since 1970.

During her on-court interview, Zheng addressed the partisan crowd that was pulling for Williams, saying: "First, I want to say, 'Sorry, guys.'"

The third set alone lasted 1½ hours, and Williams missed a volley, then a return, on the last two points.

Rain interrupted the match just after it started, and then again at 5-5 in the third set.

Williams rallied from a set down to even the match, from 4-1 down in the third set and from 4-1 down in the tiebreaker.

Williams, at 33 was the oldest woman in the second round, has been struggling with energy-sapping autoimmune disorder Sjogren's syndrome, which was diagnosed two years ago.

She was ranked No. 1 in 2002, but she last was a member of the top 10 when she was No. 9 in March 2011, and she's currently 60th. The last time she made it beyond the third round at a Grand Slam tournament was a fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon that season.

She has said she aims to be on the 2016 Olympic team, playing doubles with Serena for the USA.

USA Today

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