Venus Williams lost her second-round match at the U.S. Open tonight, falling to No. 6 Angelique Kerber 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Williams held a 4-2 lead in the third set, but was broken in the eleventh game and failed to force a tiebreak in the twelfth. It was Williams' second loss to Kerber in a month; the German also defeated Venus in the third round of the Olympics.
Williams struggled with her serve throughout the match, successfully playing only 54% of her first serves and recording a staggering 16 double faults. Williams recorded more winners -- 43 to Kerber's 20 -- but played 35 more unforced errors than her opponent. Williams was successful when she could get to the net, but Kerber's baseline effectively game kept her from advancing frequently.
The loss brings Venus' major championship season to a close, a difficult season for the superstar as she returned to action after missing much of 2011 with illness and injury. Venus and her sister Serena will be in action tomorrow in women's doubles.
On the men's side, Roger Federer dominated Bjorn Phau in three straight sets 6-2, 6-3 and 6-2 to advance to the third round. The top-seeded Federer overwhelmed Phau with 15 aces and 44 winners to Phau's total of 16. Federer won nearly 80% of his first serve points and only double-faulted once.
The one hour and a half clinic advanced Federer to the third round for a matchup against Fernando Verdasco. Federer holds a 4-0 record against Verdasco, last beating him in 2009 at the quarterfinals of the ATP World Finals.