Update: Serena and Venus Williams lost in the first round of doubles at the US Open Thursday night, their first time playing together in 4 1/2 years. "I’m so sorry for you that we beat them, but we are so happy that we did it," said Lucie Hradecka, who played with Linda Noskova, referring to the sellout crowd of 23,859 who attended the match. The Czech duo beat the Williams sisters 7-6 (5), 6-4, the AP reports. "Playing against the Williams sisters,” Noskova added, “is a special moment for everybody.” Our original story from Aug. 27 follows:
Before easing out of competitive tennis, Serena Williams will play once more on the same side of the net as Venus. The US Open announced Saturday that the sisters have accepted a wild card to compete in the tournament as a doubles team, Yahoo Sports reports. Victory would bring them their 15th doubles Grand Slam championship; they won at the US Open in 1999 and 2009. The sisters' most recent doubles Grand Slam victory was in 2016 at Wimbledon, per USA Today. Venus Williams, who has seven major singles titles, just turned 42. Serena, who's won 23, turns 41 in September, per the AP.
The doubles draw has not been announced yet, but Venus Williams opens against Alison VanUytvanck of Belgium on the singles side on Tuesday. Serena Williams is scheduled to play Danka Kovinic of Montenegro on Monday evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Her training session Saturday at the stadium drew a crowd, per the AP, and chants of "Serena, we love you!" Rennae Stubbs, a former player who has been working with her, hopes the star can savor what's apparently going to be her last US Open. "It's the end of a great career," Stubbs said. "And hopefully she can finish it off feeling good about herself and enjoying the moment and enjoying the crowd and listening to the people, to everyone, saying how much they love her." (Read more Williams sisters stories.)