Lexington, August 14
There was zero interplay between the 2, not even a furtive look, when Venus Williams walked previous Serena Williams within the Top Seed Open’s warmup space earlier than their 31st matchup as professionals.
Moments later, each headed to the court docket, every sporting a face overlaying — Serena sporting a leopard print design, Venus with a lightweight blue medical masks — and have been greeted not by the roars of an appreciative viewers however mainly by silence.
Zero fanfare as a result of, effectively, there are zero followers on the first tennis match within the US for the reason that onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
When the match started, although, the whole lot appeared regular: exhausting hitting, large serving. Serena got here again and received the final 4 video games to beat her older sister 3-6 6-Three 6-Four in a second-round match — 22-and-a-half years after the primary between the 2.
Folks could possibly be seen laying on the bottom to peek by way of the opening on the backside of the fence behind the court docket.
“It definitely felt more relaxed than the stadium at Wimbledon or at the US Open,” stated Serena, who now leads the all-in-the-family collection 19-12. “But it still is not like the practice courts.”
When it ended, the siblings merely tapped racquets. No handshake or hug, owing to guidelines about social distancing. — AP