The Williams Sisters, America’s Serena and Venus Williams have been knocked out in the first round of doubles play at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic defeated the reigning and three-time Olympic champions in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 Sunday.
Sunday’s loss was the Williams’ sisters first-ever doubles loss in Olympic play.
The outcome was not surprising as Venus was a doubt for the match as she was declared declared ill by by US women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez, who said the four-time gold medalist and seven-time Grand Slam champion had cramping, dehydration and an upset stomach following a first-round loss in singles.
US Tennis Association spokesman Tom LaDue later said that Venus would participate in that match.
Serena Williams owns four gold medals: in singles at London four years ago, and in doubles in 2000, 2008 and 2012, each time with Venus.
Venus had yesterday also lost in the first round to Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, ranked 62nd in the world. Serena however sailed into the second round, after defeating, Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 6-4 6-2.
Despite winning, Williams had to dig deep to beat the 42nd ranked player. Serena compiled 37 unforced errors to 27 winners, and got broken at love while serving for the first set at 5-3.
Williams however broke right back in the next game to take the set.