Venus Williams has played in five Olympic singles tournament. Unfortunately, this will be the first time she didn’t make it past the first round.
The 36-year-old was close to winning the match against Kirsten Flipkens, but she kept losing her edge. The match, which lasted for three hours, saw Venus Williams lose 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Afterward, Williams did not speak to reporters. Instead, U.S. women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez did, saying that Williams was sick before arriving in Brazil. Fernandez added that Williams had cramping, dehydration and an upset stomach after her loss, but still hoped to play doubles Sunday with younger sister Serena.
“I would be highly surprised if she didn’t play, because this has been her goal for the last four years — to come back to the Olympics,” Fernandez said. “She wants to win a medal so badly in anything. Knowing Venus, she will be out there, no matter how badly she’s feeling.”
Williams owns four gold medals: one in singles and three in doubles. She owns 21 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles, 14 in doubles. But she labored at times Saturday and even showed frustration by shouting “Ridiculous!” after dropping one point.