Women’s tennis world number 1 Serena Williams is on the verge of making history by being the first woman since Steffi Graf to win all four grand slams in one season. Whilst the American has owned all four titles in separate seasons, the Serena Slam – as it has now been termed – is a feat that even she admits is “the big one”.
Whether she wins The US Open or not, Serena is at the centre of a discussion somewhat haunted by society’s racial division. Being a black female Jehovah’s Witness from Compton, that has become wealthy by going in the record books of a sport dominated, played and watched by upper-class white people, her relationship with America has been complex.
If the defending champion Williams wins the Open, she would tie Graf’s 1988 record of 22 Grand Slam singles championships. She will also become the first person, man or woman, to win it a seventh time. Asked if she already considered herself the best woman to have played tennis, Williams objected,
“No, I can’t sit here and say that, but I can sit here and say that I’m the greatest player that I’ve been able to be.”
In the first round at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, Williams needed just 30 minutes to begin her bid for a first calendar Grand Slam as Vitalia Diatchenko retired at 6-0 2-0 down.
Next in the second round would be a qualifier or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, then third and forth could be two top young American players, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.
The next round could see Williams face 15th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska or American Madison Keys. In the quarter-finals, she is projected to face eighth-seeded Czech, Karolina Pliskova or her sister Venus.
In the semi-finals, the number 1 seed could face Sharapova or Ana Ivanovic. The possible final opponents would seeded Caroline Wozniacki, Williams’s opponent in last year’s U.S. Open final; fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the other player to defeat Williams this year; and sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova, who lost to Williams in three sets in the French Open final.
Possible final opponents are fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, Williams’s opponent in last year’s U.S. Open final; fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the other player to defeat Williams this year; and sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova, who lost to Williams in three sets in the French Open final.