Venus and Serena Williams were defeated in the first round of doubles at this year’s US Open.

The sisters fell 7-6 (5), 6-4 to Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova on Thursday night after joining forces for their first US Open since 2014.

Tennis veterans have teamed up to clinch 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and the last one along with the French Open in 2018.

Noskova, 17, took the win in what was her Grand Slam doubles debut.

Meanwhile Hradecka, 37, has already won two major doubles trophies with a different partner.

Their victory means that Serena Williams, 40, is now free to focus on what could be the last singles campaign of her career.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion beat second-seed Anett Kontaveit at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium after a performance described as one of her best.

Williams hailed the influence of Tiger Woods who was among the fans and famous faces who encouraged her for the win.

He will now face Australian rival Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round on Friday.

Williams revealed how she is “evolving away from tennis” when he announced his intention to retire from sport to “raise his family”.

The sisters hug after losing the Pic: AP match
Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka Photo: AP
Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka Photo: AP

But he described feeling “a lot of pain” at his departure: “It’s the hardest thing I could ever imagine. I hate it.

“I’m torn. I don’t want it to end. I love to win. I love battle. I love to entertain.”

But he said he knows “this is over, the end of a story that started in Compton, California with a little black girl who just wanted to play tennis.”

Williams, mom of five-year-old daughter Olympia, recently unveiled the cover of her first children’s book, which will launch later this month.

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