Tennis superstar Serena Williams lost in straight sets Thursday to longtime friend Caroline Wozniacki during their match-up in Herning, Demark at the Energi Denmark Champions Battle — 6-3, 6-4. However, it was only an exhibition.
The match was Williams’ first since her stunning semifinal loss at the U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci of Italy earlier this year in September.
Ironically, the following month, sister Venus defeated Vinci in a three-set win during the semifinals of the Wuhan Open in China, avenging Serena’s U.S. Open loss.
Serena has won all four majors consecutively, but never within a calendar year. Had she won this year’s U.S. Open title, Williams would have become the first woman to complete a calendar year Grand Slam since Stefi Graf in 1988, and tied Graf for total Grand Slam championships with 22 singles titles.
A disappointed Serena hopes to recharge and re-calibrate for the 2016 season. Thursday’s loss to Wozniacki, however, shows that there’s probably more work to be done.
Off the court, Williams has garnered lots of attention surrounding a possible relationship with rapper, Drake. There’s even been speculation that the couple had gotten engaged. The two stars deny a relationship.
Rumor mills have also speculated about a possible Serena pregnancy. However, a pregnancy would present a major interruption to the tennis star’s career, and there’s really been no concrete evidence that Williams is with child — her participation in Thursday’s exhibition match will likely put that rumor to rest.
Serena’s first competitive match of 2016 will be at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Williams is the reigning Australian Open champion.