Serena Williams’ legendary tennis career likely over after third-round singles’ play loss at US Open is the latest sign her game is fading, and she’s struggling to cope
Serena Williams has hit the wall; it’s just a matter of time.
The 36th seed is fighting for her life, battling through a combination of fatigue and injury so severe that US Open coach Patrick Mouratoglou just recently took her off the court for several days for rest.
The only sign that Williams may not be able to compete is the fact that she is still able to compete.
Now in her 27th Grand Slam final, Williams, who won the 2010 Australian Open, was a dominant champion in 2017, the year with the lowest rankings of her career.
Her ranking has plummeted to a career-worst No. 39 in November, and she’s also had to come within a shot of reaching the second round at Wimbledon and finishing last at the US Open.
Tennis is a brutal game in which only Williams can hope to hang with the best. But the five-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic champion has been unable to find the consistency that she once commanded. In a sport where success is often based on match points, Williams’ inability to put away points against her rivals makes it even more difficult to make a run at the greatest prize in women’s game.
She has lost to Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters in four Grand Slam finals, and she’s at risk of losing to Serena for the first time in a major at an event in which she was once the overwhelming favorite to win.
To be sure, Williams has been dealing with numerous physical ailments that have contributed to her current condition. And she’s been struggling with injuries for several years now. But the latest blow to her health is her greatest.
It won’t be the last, either.
The fact that the American has lost to her biggest rival for the ages — in a Grand Slam