Venus Williams says she is "just focused on the doubles" amid speculation she is to retire from the sport at the same tournament as her sister Serena.
The 42-year-old made an Open Era record 91st Grand Slam main draw appearance at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, but she fell to a 6-1 7-6(5) defeat to world No. 49 Alison Van Uytvanck. She has not made it past the first round in the US Open since 2019 when she won one match.
The former world No. 1 quickly left the court on Arthur Ashe after her early exit, raising more questions over whether it would be the final singles appearance of her decorated career.
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Williams' time at the tournament is not over as she is taking part in the doubles with Serena, who is set "evolve away" from tennis once her run in New York concludes. The pair haven't played together at Flushing Meadows since 2014.
When pressed after her singles loss if she was planning to retire, Venus responded: “Right now I’m just focused on the doubles.
"It was Serena's idea," she added of her decision to team up with her sister.
"[She's] the boss, so I do whatever she tells me to do (smiling).
"We have had some great wins. It would be nice to add some more."
Eurosport expert Alex Corretja says losing to Van Uytvanck will not be greatly detrimental to Venus, who has won seven Grand Slam titles including back-to-back US Opens in 2000 and 2001.
"Every time she steps on court it's getting more tough because when you start losing so many matches," he said.
"You start doubting yourself and whether it's worth it or not. The good thing is when you've been a champion you're always a champion. It doesn't matter if you ended your career losing more matches.
"She won seven majors, she's been No. 1, she's won so many big tournaments in her career.
"She lost today, we don't know if she's going to continue but it looks like it might be her last match."
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Eurosport's Mats Wilander added that he believes it would make sense for the Williams sisters to retire together once their doubles campaign finishes.
"It seems fitting if Serena and Venus would both decide to retire after the tournament together," he said.
"But we don't have enough time because the highlights from both of their careers would take hours!
"I'm a little bit surprised [Venus didn't retire after Van Uytvanck defeat].
"I thought this would be the perfect time, but then again maybe she will retire at Wimbledon. That's where she had her best success and it's not easy to retire at the same tournament as your sister who is going to steal the show. At the moment we don't know."
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