There’s no question that Serena Williams is one of the most dominant athletes ever. She’s ruled women’s tennis for the majority of her career, winning 23 major singles championships. However, the tennis star hasn’t found the same success in recent years.
Williams’ attempt to capture the 2021 Australian Open title fell short. Despite the brutal defeat, her longtime coach believes that her internal motivation will keep the tennis legend hungry for major No. 24.
Serena Williams’ suffers tough loss in Australian Open semifinal
The Australian Open is the last major Serena Williams won, capturing the title in 2017. She came into the 2021 tournament with little time to prepare because of an Achilles injury, but she received more rest and preparation time due to the COVID-19 protocols.
The extra recovery time proved to be beneficial for the tennis legend. She cruised through the first five rounds, only dropping one set. In the semifinals, she faced Noami Osaka, losing in straight sets. During her postgame press conference, Williams was visibly emotional and walked out after a reporter asked her about a specific moment in the match.
Losing to a rising star in Osaka wasn’t the hardest part of the defeat for Williams. Instead, the extra effort she put in ahead of the tournament made the loss even more painful. She withdrew from her tune-up event in Melbourne to get extra rest before the first major of 2021. The 39-year-old credited her withdrawal and the Australian Open’s delay as to why she could participate.
Williams still has 23 major singles championships. She’s tried to capture her record-tying 24th title for four years now. Time isn’t on her side, as the tennis star will turn 40 in September. However, her longtime tennis coach believes her recent defeat hasn’t stopped her hunger for winning another major.
Serena Williams’ tennis coach believes she wants to win ‘at least one more major’
Even though Serena Williams hasn’t earned a major title since 2017, she’s been close on multiple occasions. She’s reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals from 2018-19. Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ coach, has been with the tennis star since 2012. He’s witnessed the work the 39-year-old has put in since her daughter’s birth and believes she isn’t done winning majors yet.
“I don’t think Serena will stop until she at least wins a major. I don’t think that she planned retirement for this certain moment. She would never even start that [her return] if she didn’t think she was able to win a Major. After everything she has achieved in her career, at her age, having a baby for the first time and a family,” said Mouratoglou per tennisworldusa.org.
The coach also said that Williams’s lifelong dedication to tennis makes playing the game so emotional for her. He understands how badly she wants to capture another title. Winning that 24th major would do a lot for her already legendary legacy.
Serena Williams will have three more chances to get major No. 24 this calendar year. With how she performed off of limited practice in the Australian Open, opposing players should be concerned.
Will Serena Williams capture major No. 24 in 2021?
Serena Williams is a fierce competitor who doesn’t take losing lightly. After her defeat in the Australian Open, she will probably come back with a vengeance. Williams has about two and a half months to prepare for her next shot at a major, The French Open. This isn’t her best event, only winning the title three times in her career.
Following the French Open is Wimbledon in June. Williams thrives at this tournament, winning seven of her 23 majors there. Her last victory on the grass court came in 2016, and she reached the finals in 2019. The event wasn’t held in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Wimbledon might be Williams’ best shot to win major No. 24 in 2021 given her success there.
Her final shot at a major in 2021 comes in August with the U.S. Open. Having won the tournament six times, Williams should feel good about her chances of winning. She’s reached at least the semifinal round in her last 11 appearances at the event. Winning the tournament would be the perfect birthday gift for her, given it concludes in the middle of September
Serena Williams suffered a tough defeat in the Australian Open, but her coach believes her eyes are still on her 24th major. The tennis legend will have a couple of months to rest her Achilles and prepare for the French Open. Her efforts on short notice were remarkable, meaning the competition should be worried about a full-strength Serena for the rest of 2021.
Stats courtesy of WTAtennis.com