March 6, 2018
Serena Williams is back! She says she needed to start playing now in order to be at her best for the summer. The timing should be perfect!
The 23-time Grand Slam winner reached the semi-finals of the Tiebreak Tens in New York, a tournament eventually won by Elina Svitolina.
Williams then explained: ‘This is a good time to start for the summer. If I want to play in those Grand Slams [The French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open] and play well, I think now is the perfect time to start.’
Williams beat another returning, former Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli 10-5, before losing a 13-11 thriller to Zhang Shuai in the semi-finals of the breaker tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Serena added; ‘I feel in two months I’ll be way better than I am now, but you have to start somewhere.’
It’s great news for Wimbledon fans and very reassuring to know that Serena is back already and starting to build up her form and fitness, ready for the big one in London this summer.
Given the complications that came with the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, it is remarkable that Williams is enjoying her tennis once more, and clearly hoping to add to her immense Grand Slam tally.
The only other mother to have won Wimbledon was Evonne Cawley, the Australian star better known during her career as Evonne Goolagong.
But it is the record of another Australian, Margaret Court, that Serena is really chasing. Court won 24 Grand Slam titles, so she remains one ahead of the American.
And even though Court only won eleven of her Grand Slam titles in the Open era, and eleven of the 24 were won in her native Australia, that figure of 24 still puts her top of the pile in strictly statistical terms.
Many believe Serena to be the greatest of all time – whether she eclipses Court’s haul in the end or not.
But Williams wants to be the undisputed greatest in future record books. To do that she needs to triumph at two more Slams. At 36, the opportunities to do so won’t present themselves indefinitely.
However, few would bet against Serena making a massive impact at Wimbledon 2018. As she says herself at the moment, ‘It’s small steps but I’m moving in the right direction and I hope to get better and better.’
Way better in time for Wimbledon, she reckons. Potentially good enough to win the title! And who wouldn’t want to be there in order to watch Serena make history at the home of tennis?
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