Venus and Serena Williams may not be at the final major tournament of 2021, but US Open fans were treated to a sister act all the same on Thursday as Arina Rodionova reunited with elder sister Anastasia to shock No. 4 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Demi Schuurs, 6-2, 6-4.
The Rodionovas have been a dynamic duo in years past, playing the 2016 Rio Olympics in addition to making two WTA finals and the last eight of the 2016 Australian Open, but the Aussies only recently resumed their partnership as Anastasia took time off court to become a mom.
“It feels surreal,” Anastasia said after the match. “I didn’t think I’d ever be back playing, especially with the pandemic and how difficult it is to travel with my kid. I guess the stars lined up and we’re here playing. If you’d asked me two months ago, I would have said I was done, but here we are, actually playing a Slam with my sister.”
The siblings were both visiting their parents in Russia after Wimbledon when a chance practice session motivated “Nastya” into making a comeback.