As Serena Williams prepares to evolve away from tennis, in what is likely to be her final hurrah at the US Open, we take a moment to reminisce and look back at one of the greatest tennis players of our time.
We’ll briefly look at Serena’s best and worst moments at Flushing Meadows, her championship runs, and discuss her chances at this year’s US Open as outlined by the tennis betting markets.
Serena Williams: The GOAT
Williams, 23 Grand Slams titles
Richard Williams always knew his daughter Serena Williams would be the greatest player of all time. That’s according to a scene in the hit biopic “King Richard” that tells the story of Richard Williams coaching his daughters Venus and Serena to greatness.
Richard Williams championed both his daughters over their decorated careers, but his prophecy about Serena was uncannily accurate. Let’s face it, parents invariably will believe their children are special or great. That’s just what parents do. But did he really, really know just how great she would become?
Williams made her debut in 1995 and won her first Grand Slam title (fittingly) at the US Open in 1999. It would take her three years to win her second, however.
She picked up her second title at the 2002 French Open. Once she got her second one, she became virtually unstoppable.
Serena went on to dominate the WTA Tour that year and picked up the next four titles in a row – what became known as the Serena Slam. She won the 2002 Wimbledon Championships, the 2002 US Open, and the 2003 Australian Open.
Williams’ best performances have come at Wimbledon and the Australian Open where she holds seven triumphs apiece. She has five titles at the US Open. Whereas her least successful grand slam is the French Open, where she picked up three titles (2002, 2013, and 2015).
Williams Loses 4 Finals in a Row Since 2017
Williams won her last grand slam title at the Australian Open in 2017, when she was pregnant with her daughter.
She’s reached four Grand Slam finals since, twice at Wimbledon and twice at the US Open. However, she lost all four of those in straight sets.
She was beaten by Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep at Wimbledon. Then she lost to Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu in the US Open.
Had Serena won just one of these four finals, she would have matched Margaret Court on 24 major titles in the history books. Something she’s made no secret about wanting to achieve.
Williams’ Controversial US Open Matches
When a player is in the game as long as Williams, there are bound to be a number of controversies.
Arguably, the US Open featured several of these. In the 2010 US Open semis, Serena lost to eventual champion Kim Clijsters, but the match will be remembered for Serena’s shouting match with a line judge.
Serena lost to surprise US Open champion Samantha Stosur in 2011, Once again, the final was marred by her abusing the chair umpire verbally.
As recently as 2018, Williams’ loss to Naomi Osaka was another occasion in which the great champion didn’t cover herself in glory. Williams was forced to concede defeat after she got a game penalty in the second set of the final. It resulted from a code violation after her coach Patrick Mouratoglou was seen making hand gestures that were interpreted as coaching.
Williams A Long Shot To Win 2022 US Open
Williams arrives at Flushing Meadows with fitness question marks. After a year-long absence due to a hamstring injury, Williams made her belated return to the WTA Tour at the Wimbledon Championships with great pomp and circumstances. Alas, it was short-lived. She lost her tournament opener to an unknown Harmony Tan, 7-5, 6-1, 7-6 (7).
Serena returned to action in the first of two WTA 1000 events on the US Open series calendar. She lost in the second round of the National Bank Open, losing 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic in Toronto.
A week later, Williams was routed by Emma Raducanu, the reigning US Open champion, in the first round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, 6-4, 6-0.
The queen and her court.
Serena Williams was putting in WORK this morning in Ashe. pic.twitter.com/yC45wMUqJ2
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 24, 2022
Despite the fitness question marks, we are talking about one of the greatest to have played the game. For that reason alone, with her undeniable championship pedigree, one can never underestimate Serena.
One thing that is certain, she’s not going to go out with a whimper. She will give it her all and if this is her final hurrah, it’s bound to be as special as she has been to the game and sport in general.
Another thing to consider is the fact that she actually falls into a very winnable draw. Williams is drawn into the fourth quarter of the US Open draw, which is headlined by top seeds Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit – both of whom aren’t in the best of form.
At peak form, Serena would have steamrolled through such a section without breaking out a sweat. At 40 years of age with some fitness issues, she might have a tougher time of it.
That said, If Serena can get off to a strong start – she plays Danka Kovinic in the first round on Monday – she could make a bit of a run. Whether she gets into the second week and or as far as the final remains to be seen. But if she does, who is going to be surprised? Really?
What’s the saying? Saving the best for last?