The three-time Grand Slam winner should be prepping her final tennis match at the venue that’s been the scene of many of the most unforgettable moments of her tennis career.
Serena Williams entered tennis gracefully and effortlessly and with no inhibition, a quarter century in the past. In the present, after many years of contemplating and regret, we’ve a good idea of how this will take a turn. A little. Maybe. In the event of the unlikely, which is a condition you must never forget, Serena is in the equation–she’ll finish her remarkable career in New York at the 2022 U.S. Open.
For athletes of all levels, knowing what to tell when is a difficult task. Particularly in a sport played by an individual, with no agreement to follow and no manager to make the decision for you. In the case of athletes who are on a circuit and do not have a home court or field and court, there’s also the matter of where to decide when. In this instance, Serena, four weeks away from turning 41, is taken to her instrument stringed and plays her last note of grace if reflecting her career as an opera singer.
In a way, it’s appropriate. The U.S. Open shouldn’t be just Serena’s primary home Grand Slam, but it also marked her debut and was the venue for the first of 23 majors she would be winning. Serena has won her New York title six times overall and, in an event named after the memory of Billie Jean King, she has won more of her matches at this venue (106 in the week leading up to this week’s tournament) than any other event.
However, it is worth noting that the U.S. Open has also been the scene of what could be described as Serena’s toughest moments. There have been painful losses. There have been instances when she was mistreated. There were instances when she was wrong. Serena’s connection to the biggest tennis tournament in her nation is one of Janus’s appearance and a change in her mood. The status update could be: that it’s complex.
It’s been a full two decades since Serena was able to make her U.S. Open debut. Although tennis courts are obviously not always flat, her experiences on U.S. Open courts have been turbulent, with determined extremes and lows. A quick look back in the memory lane
U.S. Open: Where to watch Serena or other matches from the first round
Background: One year earlier, Serena’s older sibling, Venus, was a finalist in her first U.S. Open finals, an event punctuated by ferocious tennis but perhaps remembered for a sexy chest bump incident in the presence of Romanian Irina Spirlea. This indicated if Williams sisters’ party-going was likely to be met in certain areas by some snarky resistance. When she made Serena’s New York debut, Serena 16-year-old Serena took her first two games in the tournament with her impressive strength. Who did she play during the 3rd round? Spiraea. Serena lost three times but was given notice (at 110 speed) that she had an impressive player.