Venus Williams credits opponent Greet Minnen after early exit – ‘There wasn’t a shot she couldn’t make’

Shahida Jacobs
Venus Williams after a match
Venus Williams at the end of a match

Venus Williams won only two games as she bowed out of the 2023 US Open and afterwards she was full of praise for her opponent Greet Minnen.

The two-time Flushing Meadows winner’s match on Arthur Ashe Stadium lasted only 74 minutes as Minnen secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 victory in what was the American’s 100th match at the tournament.

The 43-year-old’s build-up to the season-ending Grand Slam was disrupted by a knee injury as she missed last week’s Tennis In The Land event, but there was no hiding behind it from the American great after the match.

“I mean, I think first I have to give credit to my opponent. I mean, there wasn’t a shot she couldn’t make. Even when I hit really amazing shots, she just hit a winner or a dropshot, so…,” Williams, who received a wildcard entry into the main draw, said.

“I don’t think I played badly. I think it was just one of those days where it’s just unlucky.

“My preparation was definitely minimal. But I don’t think that it necessarily affected the bulk of my performance. I think there are just shots where my footwork wasn’t really there. A lot of backhands I missed where my feet just weren’t there. That’s normal when you don’t spend a lot of time on the court.

“But I really have to give credit to her. It was just incredible, honestly. I mean, if she can play like that, you imagine that she can be in the top 10 or perhaps No 1 or maybe win a Grand Slam, something like that, if she can play at this level.”

Minnen will face Sachia Vickery in the second round after the American defeated 21st seed Donna Vekic.

As for seven-time Grand Slam winner Williams, she is still undecided whether or not to play during the final few months of the season.

The former world No 1 has played only eight top-level matches in 2023.

“I typically haven’t really played after the US Open for a number of years now. I may reconsider that this year because my year didn’t go the way, in any way, shape or form, that I thought it would go,” she said.

“I was really getting good momentum into Wimbledon. That fall really kind of threw me for a loop for the summer. I don’t know. I might. But I don’t know what I’ll do this fall. Definitely too soon to say.”

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