Appearing in a record 23rd US Open in the Open era, Williams lost their first-round match 6-1, 7-6(5) at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium.
She and Serena will play their first doubles match on Wednesday or Thursday. It will be the first time the sisters, who have won 14 Grand Slams as partners, will play together in a tournament since 2018.
“It was definitely the longest time I’ve been away from tennis and without a racquet in hand,” she said referring to her one-year gap between competitive matches that ended. earlier this month. “So it was a completely new experience for me, taking a racquet back in my hand and trying to acclimatize as quickly as possible to be ready for the US Open, which was not easy.
“Certainly, like, playing a lot of good points, but it’s just, in the end, it’s just rust. There’s nothing you can do about it except, you know, not be rusted at one point.”
The 42-year-old was the oldest player in this year’s draw and it was her 91st time in a Grand Slam main draw – also a tennis record.
Williams was also asked about her sister stepping away from the sport and if Serena needed her support. “I don’t know exactly. I think she’s had time to get used to it and she’s doing it the way she wants to. That’s what matters most is doing things her way. own terms,” she said.
Williams has not disclosed her own plans for her long-term future in tennis.
“Right now I’m just focusing on the double,” she said, adding with a smile that it was Serena’s idea. “She’s the boss, so I do whatever she tells me to do.”
Van Uytvanck, ranked 43rd in the world, will meet France’s Clara Burel in the second round. In their only previous match, Van Uytvanck won at the 2021 Australian Open.
CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed to this report.