In the first big surprise of the Olympic tennis tournament, Venus and Serena Williams were upset, 6-3, 6-4, in doubles by the Czech team of Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova.
The defeat, which came in the first round, was the Williams sisters’ first loss playing together at the Olympics. They won the gold medal in 2000, 2008 and 2012, and Sunday’s surprise defeat came against a team that had never won a match together.
Strycova was not originally scheduled to play doubles with Safarova in Rio, but they joined forces after Karolina Pliskova withdrew from the Games. They had lost their only previous match together, playing in the Fed Cup for the Czech Republic, but both are experienced doubles players who have had success with other partners.
On Sunday, Safarova and Strycova held firm down the stretch. They broke Venus Williams at 4-4 in the second set, and Strycova then served out the victory.