Time continues to tick on Serena Williams‘ chances of a 24th grand slam. It has been three years and four more lost finals since then but a depleted field gives the six time US Open champion no better time to finally reach that goal. She plays a fellow American in Kristie Ahn in round one, hoping to ease her way through the early rounds.
Watch the Serena Williams vs Ahn Live Stream Here.
Ahn is a player who had been finally reaping the rewards of a long slog at ITF level, eventually making the top 100 at the end of last year. Much of that was down to her fourth round run at this very tournament, where she defeated two slam champions in Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko as a wildcard.
You can’t say Serena hasn’t been battle tested ahead of this tournament with five consecutive three setters since her return, all of which lasted over two hours. There were comeback victories in both but she will be disappointed by losses to Shelby Rogers and Maria Sakkari, the latter of which came at last week’s Western & Southern Open. Whether she can will her way to victory the way she did in the past is doubtful and each loss in the future will chip away at that.
It’s hard to write off Serena in any tournament in which she competes but time continues to run out and the invincible nature she once held falters with each disappointing loss. Confidence is going to be key for her coming into the tournament and she will be eager to get off the court quickly against an opponent of Ahn’s level. Fitness wise, she has no concerns. “I think physically I’m fit, tennis is mental. You know, it’s all mental.” she said last week.
Prediction – Serena Williams in straight sets