KEY POINTS

  • Serena Williams has not won a Grand Slam since her 2017
  • Her Auckland Open win was her first WTA trophy in more than two years
  • A few tennis pundits believe she will struggle in the ongoing Australian Open

Former World No. 1 tennis star Justine Henin has insisted that while it is going to be difficult for Serena Williams in Melbourne, the legendary player cannot be written off due to her champion mentality.

Serena, who recently ended her two-year title drought by winning the Auckland Open, is expected to bag her record 24th major title and equal the all-time record for the most number of Grand Slam titles currently held by Margaret Court.

While her fans have her back, there are a few tennis pundits who have been raising questions about the same considering she has lost four consecutive major finals over the last couple of years.

Seven-time Grand Slam winner Henin, who was once Serena’s rival on court, said, “Serena wants to do it, that’s for sure. She wouldn’t be on the tour anymore if it wasn’t her goal. Three years ago we were saying that also about Roger Federer and he proved so many things and Serena, we can’t forget how many Grand Slam finals she played since she was back. So she didn’t win but she was there.”

“It was the experience she has, the passion of the game [that got her there]. [With] the mentality she has she still can surprise us. It is going to be difficult [for Williams to win another Grand Slam], that’s for sure and more with the time going out, that’s for sure. The young generation is pressing hard but who knows? I wouldn’t predict that she doesn’t have any chance anymore,” the former player, who hails from Belgium, added in her interview with Tennishead.

Another seven-time Grand Slam winner has expressed his worry saying that according to him, Serena will struggle should she reach the final at the Australian Open but at the same time, she, according to him, is the favorite to win the year-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.

Mats Wilander has said the win in Auckland is a great deal for Serena, who he thinks is now looking the best since she had her baby.

“She looks better than I’ve seen her since she had her baby. Winning in Aukland was huge for her to get some confidence, playing doubles with Caroline Wozniaki was important for her to get more matches to have a bit of fun. But again the big question mark with Serena is not how well does she play, its how is she going to do if she gets to a final? Is she going to have a hangover from the last four Grand Slam finals that she lost? But she’s playing well, and for me, I have to put her as the favorite,” the former World No. 1, who hails from Sweden, added in a recent interview.

Taking her first step toward a record 24th major title, Serena thrashed Russia’s teenage player Anastasia Potapova in the opening round of the Australian Open on Sunday. She will be up against another Russian - Tamara Zidansek – in the second round on Wednesday.