Serena Williams tries again. At the US Open in New York she finally wants her 24th Grand Slam title. The conditions seem favorable, because because of Corona nothing is as usual. And yet the big favorite raises question marks.
Actually, the prospects are better than ever. Six players from the top ten have cancelled their participation in the US Open in New York, which starts on Monday, because a trip to the corona-plagued USA is too risky for them. So who else but Serena Williams will win at Flushing Meadows? Who is to stop the 38-year-old on her way to her long-awaited 24th title at a Grand Slam tournament? The answer is Serena Williams herself.
Because a few days before the start of the tennis tournament, which takes place under strict hygienic conditions, Williams continues to search for her form. At the Masters event, which has been moved from Cincinnati to New York, Williams lost 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 1-6 in the round of sixteen against Maria Sakkari from Greece on Tuesday. She has played five games since her comeback after the month-long corona break, and five times she had to play over three sets. And twice she ran out of breath at the end, as she did now against Sakkari.
“I should have won this game, there is no excuse for that,” Williams said annoyed after the defeat. “I had so many chances to win. I have to figure out how to win these games,” said Williams, drawing an interesting comparison. It felt “like when you’re dating a shitty guy. It just doesn’t make sense and it’s frustrating.”
Serena is struggling with cramps
Above all physically Williams did not yet appear in Grand Slam form. In the end, the long-time number one had to struggle with cramps, but after giving up a 5:3 lead in the second set, she had no chance in the third set. “I had cramps, yes, but I shouldn’t have been in the situation at all,” said the American, but also said before: “Playing nine hours in a week is too much for me. I don’t normally play that much.
24th title is a long time coming
In order to really win a Grand Slam tournament for the 24th time at the US Open and thus to catch up with the controversial Australian Margaret Court, Williams must find a way to save energy, especially in the first rounds against supposedly weaker opponents. For more than three years now, she has been waiting for her next Grand Slam triumph, the last time she triumphed in Melbourne in 2017 at the Australian Open – at that time already pregnant. Since returning home after the birth of her daughter Olympia, she has reached a Grand Slam final four times, but the damned 24th title just won’t do it. A year ago, she surprisingly lost in the final in New York against the Canadian Bianca Andreescu. In her current form, even reaching the final would be a success.