For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.
The long match was marked by long rallies and loud cheers from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with many in attendance urging Williams, 33, to continue her comeback from health issues with a win in New York.
"I love that. I wish I could play some more for that," Williams said after the match, according to the AP. "I want to come back here just for that, at this point."
Addressing the crowd after the match, Zheng began her remarks with, "First, I want to say, 'Sorry, guys."
As we reported earlier this week, the U.S. Open brought the first time that both Venus and Serena Williams have gotten past the first round of a Grand Slam tournament since January's Australian Open. The Williamses are scheduled to begin their doubles campaign tonight at 6 p.m. ET.
In other notable action Wednesday, American James Blake lost to Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, who has turned heads at this tournament due to his 6' 10" frame. The loss came just days after Blake announced that he would be retiring after the Open.