Serena faces biggest problem in harm fightback at 40 — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria Information – Nigeria and World Information

(FILES) On this file photograph taken on June 6, 2021, Serena Williams of the US reacts as she performs in opposition to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina throughout their ladies’s singles fourth spherical tennis match on Day 8 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis match in Paris. – Serena Williams hopes of a record-equalling twenty fourth Grand Slam title took one other hit on August 25, 2021, when she introduced on her Instagram web page that she was pulling out of subsequent week’s US Open due to a hamstring harm. (Picture by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

Serena Williams gained’t be chasing a twenty fourth Grand Slam singles title on the US Open, however along with her fortieth birthday solely a month away, she shall be beginning maybe her biggest problem in closing out her profession on her personal phrases.

Williams revealed Wednesday she would miss the New York hardcourt showdown with a torn proper hamstring suffered in a first-round match final month at Wimbledon.

“After cautious consideration and following the recommendation of my medical doctors and medical group, I’ve determined to withdraw from the US Open to permit my physique to heal utterly from a torn hamstring,” Williams posted on Instagram.

Williams, whose 23 Grand Slam singles crowns are one shy of Margaret Court docket’s all-time report, shall be battling again from harm at an age when most gamers have retired.

The American star is already the oldest girl to win a Grand Slam singles crown, taking the 2018 Australian Open title at age 35 whereas pregnant earlier than taking a 12 months off to present delivery to daughter Olympia.

She suffered a pulmonary embolism after supply and was bed-ridden for six weeks however battled again to world-class type, reaching the 2018 and 2019 finals at Wimbledon and the US Open, and till now hadn’t missed a Grand Slam begin since her motherhood hiatus.

Williams didn’t take a set in any of the 4 trophy matches, the final in New York simply shy of her thirty eighth birthday making her the oldest feminine finalist in Grand Slam singles historical past.

Ken Rosewall was 37 when he grew to become the oldest Grand Slam singles winner and 39 when he reached the 1974 US Open ultimate. If Serena ought to attain one other Slam singles ultimate, she would develop into the oldest man or girl to take action.

“I really feel like individuals can play longer,” Williams mentioned at Wimbledon. “Expertise has performed an enormous function in that — the best way we view the sport, the best way we recuperate, the best way our footwear are made, the best way the tools is made.

“As a result of usually individuals retire at 29, 30 — earlier than 29, 30, 32 was the max. I really feel like there are a number of gamers at that age who’re simply hitting their stride.”

Williams gained 10 Grand Slam titles in her 30s, taking every crown no less than twice, and was a runner-up six extra occasions, no less than as soon as in all 4 occasions.

Whether or not or not Williams ever matches Court docket’s report, many think about her the best ladies’s tennis participant ever.

“Both manner she’s the best feminine participant in my guide that has ever performed, one of many biggest athletes, interval, that has ever performed,” mentioned US legend John McEnroe.

Legendary legacy
The girl who started enjoying in opposition to older sister Venus underneath the steerage of her father Richard has gained seven Australian Open and 7 Wimbledon titles, three French Opens and 6 US Open crowns, together with her first at age 17 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 1999.

She misplaced to Victoria Azarenka in final 12 months’s US Open semi-finals and fell to Naomi Osaka on this 12 months’s Australian Open semi-finals.

For greater than 20 years, Williams has confronted new generations of rivals who raised their video games at any time when she was throughout the web from them.

“It has positively made me higher,” Williams mentioned. “I’ve had a giant X on my again since ’99, since I gained the US Open. When gamers play me that arduous each single match, each single match, each single Grand Slam, it simply doesn’t matter the place, you simply get higher.”

Williams mentioned she was “heartbroken” when she was compelled to go away the court docket at Wimbledon injured, her spirits lifted by a cheering crowd who had been hoping they hadn’t watched her ultimate bow at Centre Court docket.

“Serena Williams has been absolutely dedicated to her restoration and we’ve performed the whole lot we might,” tweeted Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou. “However her physique isn’t prepared. It’s heartbreaking, however that is the one doable determination.”

Williams has performed a minimal schedule most seasons to assist her longevity.

“Taking part in the best way I performed helped my profession,” she mentioned. “I don’t suppose I might have performed as lengthy if I needed to play quite a lot of weeks. You simply have to determine what works for you and go along with it.”



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