The 2022 Delray Beach Open had some high-profile spectators in the stands on Thursday, with Venus and Serena Williams dropping by to show their support for close friends Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov.
Venus Williams arrived at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, which is not too far from her Florida home, for an afternoon session that saw Opelka take on compatriot Jack Sock in a second-round encounter.
Opelka, the tournament's second seed, won 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 6-1 in a match that saw dominant serving performances from both ends of the court.
Venus Williams was joined by sister Serena for the evening session, which saw Dimitrov take on another American in the form of Mitchell Krueger.
The Bulgarian scored a tight straight-sets win, with the encounter finishing at around 11.30 pm local time. He made sure to thank his supporters, Serena and Venus Williams in particular, for staying out late to watch him close out the win.
“They’re amazing. They’re some of my closest friends, no doubt about that,” Dimitrov said after the win. “Their support means so much to me, especially in moments like that. They’re sort of nearby and it’s just very nice that we can share a moment like that.”
Video clips of the champion duo in the stands have since made their way to social media, with Tennis TV sharing snippets from the night session match.
"Looks like @serenawilliams has joined @venuseswilliams for some nighttime tennis in Delray," Tennis TV captioned their post.
Venus and Serena Williams languishing outside the top 200 in the WTA rankings
While both Venus and Serena Williams have been keeping busy with off-court activities during their time away from competitive tennis, the duo's continued absence from the WTA tour has taken a toll on their world rankings.
Serena Williams made a minor five-place jump in this week's updated rankings but continues to sit at a lowly No. 245.
Venus Williams, on the other hand, has fallen out of the world's top 400. She went up one place in the latest rankings but, at No. 465, will have to rely on wildcards to enter tournaments in the foreseeable future.