Venus Williams bows out in first round of women’s singles at US Open in 12-dart finish
NEW YORK – Venus Williams withdrew from her third-round match against Jil Teichmann at the US Open on Sunday, following a 12-dart finish in front of a stunned crowd.
Just as Williams had done two weeks ago, Venus took the longest route to the 18th hole after trailing 1-up with a birdie putt on the par-4 final hole from the back. But the top-ranked player would not let it get in her way.
“Jil is a good player, so I knew he was going to give it a go,” Venus said after the tournament. “He made the putt. I thought it was a great shot.”
Williams, who was two shots back Wednesday, trailed 6-1 at the end of regulation after a four-putt end on the 11th hole. But she holed a 65-yard birdie putt from 10 feet to go ahead on the 18th, where she played a 12-dart finish. It was Williams’ first birdie finish since the final hole of the 2011 U.S. Open.
The world No. 1 dropped four shots heading into the last-day singles in her final tournament in New York, where she began with a 6-1 record and won the US Open in 2004 before it was annulled and replaced by the U.S. Open.
Her last-minute decision was the latest in a series of unusual events for Williams, who has struggled with mental and physical exhaustion in recent months. Last week, she withdrew from the PGA Tour event in Mexico to nurse a rib injury that she had suffered during the past two months.
“I’m not sure there’s any reason to think if I don’t keep playing I’ll ever be the same,” Williams said. “It’s just a matter of keeping my body limber, staying on my feet and mentally just not giving it up.”
Teichmann, the top player in the world, held that advantage into the last day of the tournament but made only four birdies on his way to a 6-under-par total of 72.
“I’m just sad to see her go out,” Te