Serena Williams: The US Open favorite

 
on August 23 2012 2:49 PM

It was some 13 years ago, Serena Williams was victorious at Flushing Meadows. This was her first slam. The younger sister of Venus Williams made her mark in 1999.

After that she has not has as much success in New York as has been in Melbourne or London.

Being triumphant at the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships five times each, she won the US Open on three occasions, the last of those being in 2008.

For Serena, a year that began with losses to Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian Open and Virginie Razzano at Roland Garros in the first round itself was not going very well.

But Wimbledon was hers and so was Olympic gold, in both in singles and doubles, and she is the one who is again holding the title of the dominant figure in the women's game on the court.

At All England Club Serena served up 102 aces against just 10 double faults with a breathtaking 49-second, four-serve, four-ace game third set in the final against Radwanska that righted her momentum.

At the Olympics she totally devastated a shrieking and broken Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the gold-medal match.

Even though Serena hadn't won a major since Wimbledon in 2010, still she is the clear favorite this time.

Against all the top 10 players of the current ranking only Angelique Kerber put Serena in some sort of trouble in the past.

Theworld No. 6 Kerber beat Serena 4 and 4 in Cincinnati, where Serena could not control her forehand.

It is the power game of Kerber that gave Serena problems.

The world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and top seed at the U.S. Open has lost to Serena seven straight times, including the London Olympics Semi final.

Serena won all the three matches she played against number 2 Radwanska.

Against No. 3 Sharapova, she is 9-2.  

No. 7 Samantha Stosur trails Serena 6-3. 

Likewise No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 9 Li Na faced Serena six times each, and both of them became successful just once.

In a recent interview Nick Bollettieri told, "Serena Williams will be a top contender to win the US Open."

But according to the legendary coach, "she must realize this is a two week event and all of her opponents will give it all and then some to beat her. Serena has a tendency to start slow or have a melt down during a match. When she is on her game she is the best female player in the history of the game."

Even Serena thinks "something will happen" this year. If that 'something' is on the same scale as the worst of the two incidents came, then tournament director will again schedule all her matches late at night, after America's children have gone to bed.

During the semi-final match against Kim Clijsters at the 2009 tournament, Serena became furious with a lineswoman for calling her for a double-fault, and threatened to stuff a tennis ball down her throat.

 Then, at the last summer's loosing final against Stosur, after a hindrance call for crying out "C'mon" during a rally, she spent the next changeover accusing the umpire of being "a hater" who was "unattractive inside".

"My mind frame this year is that something is going to happen for sure because something always happens to me at the Open, whether it's a horrendous line call that's two feet in or whether it's a grunt and I get a point penalised. Or a foot fault when I actually don't foot fault. I'm prepared for something to happen," Serena has said.

"Hopefully if I get to the semifinals or finals, I'm really prepared and really going to count - I'm going to try to make it to 10. But if I don't, I don't, you know, hey. I can't stop who I am, you know. I'm definitely going to start one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and see how far I get."

Bollettieri nicely explained, "Serena Williams will be Serena and I am sure her on-court activities will be acceptable. She is so good for the game, both Venus and Serena are so important for the WTA Tour." 

Share this article