Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open (Video by Reuters)
When Venus Williams won the U.S. Open in September 2009 – the first by a black woman in 40 years – she became the first black female to win the prestigious event.
Williams also became the first black woman in her own right to win the Grand Slams, and the first ever to do so against a men’s field.
She would go on to win five more Grand Slams, three of them against men, during her glittering professional career.
During the 2012 U.S. Open, Williams became the first black woman in history to win both singles and doubles at both the Grand Slams.
Now, Williams has bowed out of the 2016 US Open first round after receiving a medical ruling for a tear in her right Achilles tendon.
She was later able to play the first four matches of her match, but will not be able to attend the next day’s final in the 1,600-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium that would have been her 10th Grand Slam title.
Williams had complained of pain in her right side after the second round, but insisted she was not injured.
During her match, Williams appeared to have her foot pressed to the ground as she approached a net, holding her first serve and occasionally going to her knees to try to reach the ball.
Williams was trying to reach more difficult shots at the net, including a return to the baseline.
After the match, she described her injury as a “small tear in the tendon.”
Williams was scheduled to play her first Major at Indian Wells in March alongside sister Serena, and was confident she could make it there.
She appeared to be playing the first day of her quarter-final against Karolina Pliskova, and was struggling with a tight back.
Later in the match, Williams suffered a back injury that sidelined her for nine games.
Williams last competed at the French Open in July 2014, where she lost to Angelique Kerber in a tight three-setter to end her year.
Since making her debut in 2004, Williams has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, including the year the then-29-year-old became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She also won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, including four Grand Slam singles and eight Grand Slam doubles titles.
Williams was awarded her