Connect with us


Tennis: Serena headed to Wimbledon seeking return to form



Serena Williams will bring her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title to Wimbledon next week, where she will try to shake off a nagging knee injury and show the tennis world that her window of opportunity is still open.

Williams has been stuck on 23 Grand Slam titles, one behind the all-time record held by Margaret Court for over two years and has shown little evidence of late that she will be able to snap that drought at the All England Club.

“As long as she’s playing, she’s going to be a threat to win anything,” ESPN tennis analyst and former world number one John McEnroe told a conference call.

“But it’s just now there are more things that can go wrong, I suppose, like more days where she might not have it and other days where players won’t give in as easily. So that just makes it more difficult.”

The 37-year-old American’s time on the court has been limited to a handful of matches since the Australian Open in January, due in part to a knee injury that kept her from competing in a tune-up event ahead of Wimbledon, where the action begins on July 1.

After losing in the third round at the French Open, Williams did not exactly sound her confident self when asked if she would have enough time to get in optimal shape for Wimbledon, where she is a seven-time winner.

“I hope so. I’m still working on it and working on getting there,” said Williams. “So I think it will be, I think it is enough time. We’ll see, but I definitely hope so.”

When Williams was at the peak of her career, she was so far above the competition that she could barrel her way through a Grand Slam draw even if she was having an off day.

But the combination of injury, a limited playing schedule and an increased standard of women’s tennis over the past few years have left many to question whether she can again triumph in one of tennis’ blue riband events.

Williams won the most recent of her Grand Slam titles at the 2017 Australian Open when she was in the early stages of her pregnancy, which led to her taking a year off from competition.

She came back with a bang in 2018 and in spite of not playing at her best managed to reach the final at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“It’s hard for me to bet against Serena. Look what happened last year: Two finals in Grand Slams,” said ESPN tennis analyst and 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert.

“The one difference that I see in Serena is since she’s come back, she’s been one or two steps slower than normal. I think that’s a little bit of fitness. I think it’s a little bit of match play. I think it’s a little bit of confidence.”

Healthy legs are key to any player’s game, but perhaps even more vital for someone like Williams who relies heavily on her physicality and court coverage to set up big shots.

Williams has been unable to deliver her trademark big serves on a consistent basis of late but will likely take comfort in the friendly confines of the All England Club given she is most effective on grass.

But unlike in her prime, Williams’ rivals know she is not the same player she once was and do not walk onto the court nearly as intimated as they once were when facing one of the game’s all-time greats.

“There are so many things that may be going against Serena, and she thrives on that, and she loves that, and that’s when she comes through,” said Evert.

“I would have said in January, if there was any Grand Slam she was going to win, it would probably be Wimbledon … and if her serve is on, she’s going to be tough to beat.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Manchester City Deserve to Win, Says Ancelotti




Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, has admitted that Manchester City deserved to win the match because they played better, as Madrid a painful 4-0 loss at Manchester City on Wednesday.

The win completed a 5-1 aggregate defeat for Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final.

Manchester City, who were beaten by Real Madrid at the same stage last season, avenged that heartbreaking defeat with a brilliant performance in front of their jubilant fans.

Only Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, prevented them from inflicting even more damage.

Please note that odds are subject to change. Always check odds are correct before placing bets with any bookmaker. 18+ | Play responsibly.

“They played better than us and deserved to win.

“They put a lot of pressure at the beginning, it worked out well for them because they made it very difficult for us to get the ball in play and they went two goals ahead.

“From then on, it was difficult to get back into the game. We tried in the second half… but it didn’t work out,” Ancelotti told reporters.

Ancelotti admitted it was a painful night but said it was too soon to analyse what had gone wrong.

“Evaluating today, at this moment, makes no sense.

“It is a defeat that hurts, it hurts a lot. But it can happen. We reached the semi-finals of the Champions League against a strong opponent, they played better and left us without a final.

“We have to learn and for the next season, to be better,” he said.

This is coming a year after winning a LaLiga and Champions League double, and becoming the first manager to capture titles in each of Europe’s top five leagues.

Ancelotti is now facing up to finishing the campaign with just a Spanish Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to show for their efforts.

He did, however, set another record on Wednesday, becoming the coach with the most European Cup games (191), surpassing the mark set by former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson.

But with their rivals Barcelona crowned LaLiga champions last weekend with four-games to spare, Ancelotti was left searching for a silver lining.

“I think it was a good season. We have to show up in the few games we have ahead of us.

“I think that reaching a Champions League semi-final is a success because only four teams make it to the last four,” Ancelotti said.


Continue Reading


Why We Defeated Chelsea – Arsenal Manager, Arteta




Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has hailed his side’s dominating 3-1 win over Chelsea on Tuesday night.

The Gunners won thanks to a Martin Odegaard double and Gabriel Jesus strike.

Noni Madueke scored the only goal for the visitors in the second half.

“We wanted to [push Chelsea back early on]. We knew that if we dominated them and got in the final third then they were going to have issues.

“In the first 15 minutes of the second half, we should have scored two or three goals – then the game is over,” Arteta said

The result takes Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League, two points ahead of Manchester City, who face West Ham on Wednesday.

Continue Reading


Frank Lampard Set for Surprise Return to Chelsea




Frank Lampard is set to be appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season – just over two years after the club sacked him.

He has been out of a job since January when he was dismissed by Everton after less than a year in charge.

The ex-Chelsea and England midfielder previously managed the Blues from July 2019 until January 2021, when he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel’s successor, Graham Potter, was sacked on Sunday.

Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League and drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Tuesday

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: