Former world No. 1 Venus Williams admitted she "just made too many errors" versus 17th-ranked Karolina Pliskova during their Cincinnati match. Williams, who was awarded a main draw wildcard into Cincinnati, suffered a 7-5 6-1 loss to former top-ranked player Pliskova.
According to Williams, too many errors and Pliskova raising her level in the second set was what ultimately decided the match. "She raised her game in the second set and I just made too many errors. But definitely not an easy first round.
And she's been playing well, I guess, all year? I really don't know. But she played well today against me," Williams said after the match, per Ben Rothenberg.
Venus didn't do press but did give a post-match quote:
"She raised her game in the second set and I just made too many errors.
But definitely not an easy first round. And she's been playing well, I guess, all year? I really don't know. But she played well today against me." — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 16, 2022
Williams picks up her third defeat in 2022
Pliskova had the first break point of the match but Williams saved one break point in the fourth game to level the first set to two games apiece.
After saving a break point, Williams earned the first break of the match in the fifth game to open a 3-2 lead. But Williams' lead was short-lived as Pliskova broke back in the eighth game to tie the set to four games apiece.
After blowing an early break, Williams had a chance to break Pliskova again but missed out two consecutive break points in the ninth game as Pliskova took a 5-4 lead. In the 10th game, Pliskova had a set point on Williams' serve but the American saved and the two players were tied to five games apiece after the first 10 games.
Then, Williams missed out on one more break point as Pliskova managed to serve out the 11th game for a 6-5 lead. Williams paid the price for not realizing break point chances in the ninth and 11th games as Pliskova broke Williams in the 12th game, when the American was serving to stay in the first set.
After winning a tight first set, Pliskova absolutely dominated the second set as she broke Williams twice to complete a straight-set win. Williams, 42, has played three matches this summer and she has lost all three. Earlier this month in Washington, Williams played her first singles match in a year.