On Wednesday, June 17, Serena Williams announced that she would be playing the 2020 US Open.
This was music to tournament directors and investors’ ears. Although they won’t have Roger Federer this year and could be without Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, their six-time champion has confirmed she will be playing.
On the surface, this may seem like an obvious choice for Serena, but why is she so eager to attend a tournament plagued with uncertainties? Well, Simona Halep and the number twenty-four might have something to do with this.
Let’s start with the number twenty-four. It has been a lifelong goal of Serena’s to surpass Margaret Court as the winningest player in Grand Slam history. But, after torching the entire WTA for many years and winning twenty-three Grand Slam titles, Williams has failed to win a Grand Slam since the 2017 Australian Open.
With the Australian legend, Margaret Court, holding twenty-four singles Grand Slam titles, Serena needs to win two more to surpass her. And, it would be hard to think that this has nothing to do with her decision to play the 2020 US Open.
As her career continues to decline, she realizes that her chances of winning another Grand Slam are decreasing greatly. So, if she is to win another Grand Slam, she must play the 2020 US Open.
This brings us to Simona Halep. If there was one thing other than time stopping Serena Williams from breaking the Grand Slam record, it would be Simona Halep.
But, Simona Halep and her coach, Darren Cahill, have come out recently and said that Simona is “highly unlikely” to play the 2020 US Open. Once again, it is hard to think that this wouldn’t be another determining factor as to why Serena is so anxious to play the US Open.
Still, this leaves two players firmly in Serena’s way, Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu. But wait, what do both of these players have in common? Both are recovering from serious injuries and have had little time to regain their dominant ways.
In conclusion, Serena Williams is likely eager to play the 2020 US Open so that she can chase the singles Grand Slam record. And, there is nothing wrong with this.
Yet, consequently, she might realize that it wasn’t worth it if she gets knocked out in the early rounds of the tournament or has Osaka or Andreescu on her side of the draw.
Oh yeah, did we forget to mention Coco Gauff?
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