US Open preview: Serena Williams’ last Grand Slam at home headlines fascinating two weeks of tennis



CNN

The curtain will soon come down on one of the greatest careers the sporting world has ever seen, and Flushing Meadows, home of the US Open, will provide a fitting setting for Serena Williams’ final act.

Williams announced earlier this month that she would “evolve away from tennis” after this year’s US Open, saying she has “never liked the word retirement”.

How to watch Serena’s farewell tour at the US Open

  • Williams vs. Kovinic
  • when? Monday, 7:00 PM ETwhere? ESPN

    Now 40 years old, Williams’ career will come full circle as her final match will be played at the site of the first of her 23 Grand Slam singles victories, the 1999 US Open. Then , just a teenager, Williams burst onto the scene to stun world no. 1 Martina Hingis in the final and took the first step on her way to two decades of dominance.

    “If I could only pick one thing that she possesses incredibly compared to other players and champions, it’s a strong determination to go through tough stages and win no matter what, year after year,” said Marin Cilic, men’s champion of the 2014 US Open. , he told CNN Sport.

    “I hope he has a great US Open and the best goodbye is to go with the win. So [I’m] hoping she can do it.”

    Serena won her first-round singles match against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday. Williams is also set to play her first doubles match with sister Venus on Wednesday.

    Since returning to the circuit in June after a year out with injury, Williams has managed to win just one match and has failed to match the form that helped her win her last Grand Slam title in 2017 .

    Even if she can’t achieve a dream final flourish by lifting the title at Flushing Meadows, Williams’ 23 Grand Slam singles titles will be the most by any player in the Open era and just one short of the all-time record time of Margaret Court.

    Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis in the 1999 US Open final to win her first Grand Slam title.

    Williams’ greatness is not only limited to the singles court, as she has won every Grand Slam doubles title at least twice and won two of the four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. He has also racked up more than $94 million in career earnings on the court.

    Few tennis players have transcended the sport like Williams and her presence will certainly be missed on Tour.

    One of the many young talents likely to open that gap is defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu. The teenager stunned the sporting world last year by becoming the first seed in history to win a Grand Slam title in just her second appearance in the main draw of a Slam .

    Raducanu and Williams first crossed paths two weeks ago at the Cincinnati Masters, with Raducanu coming out on top in straight sets.

    However, this was one of 12 wins for Raducanu in a season that has been plagued by injuries and erratic form. However, she has shown flashes of the player who triumphed at Flushing Meadows last year, most notably in her recent demolition of two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati.

    Two thousand of the 2,756 ranking points that currently have Raducanu 11th in the world, and up to 10th in June, come from her victory at the US Open, and if she does not come close to defending her crown, the young 19 years will plummet. down in the WTA world ranking.

    Emma Raducanu pulled off one of the most remarkable Grand Slam wins in history at the 2021 US Open.

    Raducanu’s career in Cincinnati ended at the hands of world no. 8 Jessica Pegula, but it was a hard-fought contest to end a week that will likely give Raducanu more confidence going into the US Open.

    Among the stars hoping to take Raducanu’s New York crown will be Poland’s number one. 1 Iga Swiatek, who has won a remarkable six singles titles in 2022.

    The two-time French Open winner enters the tournament as the bookies’ favorite but has only reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows and has struggled for hard-court form ahead of the US Open united

    However, Swiatek reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year and won three straight WTA 1000 events on hard court earlier in the season, so she certainly has the ability to ‘go to New York.

    In the men’s draw, all eyes will be on Rafael Nadal as he looks to add to his men’s record 22 Grand Slam titles.

    However, the 36-year-old has played just one match, a first-round loss to Borna Ćorić at the Cincinnati Masters last week, since pulling out of the Wimbledon semi-finals with an abdominal injury and is still not clear how far Nadal is ahead of the US Open.

    “The most important thing for me is to stay healthy,” Nadal told reporters after the loss. “It’s been a difficult injury to manage, to be honest.

    “The last month and a half hasn’t been easy because, with a tear in your abdomen, you don’t know when (you’re) going to be 100 percent, so that affects me a little bit in terms of not (being) sure of if you can do your best in every service.”

    But New York has been a happy hunting ground for Nadal over the years, with the Spaniard winning the title on four occasions, most recently in 2019 when he overcame a five-set epic against Daniil Medvedev.

    Russia’s Medvedev, who has been competing under a neutral flag since his country’s invasion of Ukraine, is the bookies’ favorite to lift the trophy and retain the crown he won in 2021 to mark his first Grand Slam victory.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia to win the men's singles final match on day 14 of the 2021 US Open at the National Center of Tennis USTA Billie Jean King in September.  12, 2021 in the Flushing borough of the borough of Queens in New York City.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Daniil Medvedev on Novak Djokovic’s calendar grand slam halt

    02:48

    – Source: CNN

    The 26-year-old’s only title in 2022 came on hard court in Mexico earlier this month, but Medvedev reached the Australian Open final earlier this year, losing agonizingly after maintain a two-set lead over Nadal.

    Alexander Zverev, who would have been one of the favorites to win, confirmed earlier this week that he would withdraw from the US Open after failing to recover in time from injury.

    The world doesn’t. 2 had surgery in June for torn ligaments in his ankle, which he suffered after landing awkwardly in the French Open semifinals against Nadal.

    Zverev’s absence from the draw means all players ranked below him move up one place in the rankings, meaning Nadal and Medvedev can now only meet in the final.

    Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday that he would not compete at Flushing Meadows in 2022. US vaccination rules for non-US citizens meant that the Serb would not have obtained a visa to enter the country, so Nole will at least wait one more year before returning to the Big Apple.

    The world doesn’t. 6 triumphed at Wimbledon earlier this year to win his 21st Grand Slam title and move past long-time rival Nadal, but has not been able to play in any of the US Open warm-up events of the Tour in the United States or Canada.

    The US Open will be the second Grand Slam this year that Djokovic will miss because of his unvaccinated status, after his visa was revoked twice before the Australian Open in January.

    “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to travel to New York for the US Open this time,” Djokovic said. he wrote on social media. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support.

    “Good luck to my fellow players! I will stay in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again. See you soon tennis world!”

    With a wide open field, the men’s draw will be fascinating to watch: will Nadal match Serena on 23 Grand Slam singles titles or will another rise to reign in New York?

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