Serena Williams Turns Back Time at Australian Open
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Serena Williams Turns Back Time at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams became a time traveler on Sunday, essentially going back to the past to face her much younger self.

Across from the net in the fourth round of the Australian Open, stood 22-year-old Belarusian Arya Sabalenka, who was like Williams at the age of 14, and whose strategy kept Williams’ game plan in mind at the same age: you’re not successful , Hit hard.

Williams, 39, stared at Sabalenka and after two hours of effort, Sablenka died in a blink of an eye. In the 10th game of the decisive set, Sabalenka collected a point on his serve as seven-time champion Williams, winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Brake and Simona. achieved. Hallep, who sent 19-year-old Inga Swotek in three sets.

Williams’ longevity makes it easy to forget that before she was the sport’s grand dame, she was her eldest child, collecting nine WTA singles titles, including a grand slam, before dropping out of her teens.

Sabalenka, a nine-time winner on the WTA Tour and Swantuck, the French Open champion, is the latest in a long string of polished phenoms threaded through Williams’ career. One of the biggest stars to emerge, Naomi Osaka saved two match points on Sunday to defeat Garbani Muguruza. Nevertheless, from Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles to Maria Sharapova and Sloan Stephens, Williams has seen many young talent on the move and away from tennis on the occasion.

In his youth-suffocating history, Williams did not defeat Williams, a 23-time single slam champion, whose love for the game deepened over time. Against Sabalenka, she studied a page of written notes during the changes like she was back in high school. She fiddled with her “Queen” necklace. He dug balls from corners and ran from armpits as if he were on the school blacktop.

Darren Cahill, one of Hallep’s coaches, described Williams’ movement as the best he has seen in a “long, long time” and said “if you can stay in more points and get more balls , If he can survive, he has got … the power to bend those points. “

What Williams is doing is also incomprehensible to younger Americans, three of whom followed him in the second week. Killed one of the three, 28-year-old Shelby Rogers: “What he’s been able to achieve is absolutely incredible because some days I wake up now and I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not 21 anymore.”

Williams’ service usually allows him to win his share of easy points. But against Sabalenka, his main weapon continued to disappoint. Williams played 52 percent in his first act and recorded eight double faults, including one in the third game of the third set, which gave Sablenka two break points.

With Victoria State in Day 2 of the hard lockdown, no one was in the fan stand, but restrictions imposed on the local population did not expand Williams’ inner circle, which included her husband, coach, agent, kill mates and older sister Huh. Venus, 40, who lost in the second round.

Williams was not required by the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, to state that his entry qualified as an “essential worker”, an assortment that made it possible for him to participate in the match. His team is critical to his success, and he often looked at where everyone was sitting. When she was down 15–40 in that fifth game, Venus raised both arms as if indicating a touchdown and they closed her eyes.

Williams ‘most recent Grand Slam championship came at Melbourne Park at Venus’ expense in 2017, when she was two months pregnant with her first daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian. Since becoming a parent, Williams has raised her voice as an advocate for working mothers everywhere, speaking openly to the hardships, both physically and emotionally, that she and others on the WTA Tour – and the wider In the world – face daily balancing your job and childbearing.

But in that telepathic moment between the sisters, Serena was not the earth mother of tennis. When she looked in the direction for Venus, she was taken back to her early years as a supporter.

“When I hear his voice, it calms and reassures me,” Williams said. “Yes, I think there’s something about it that makes me feel really good.”

He got his first serve on the next three points and won them all, earning an advantage with an ace of 126 mph. Williams closed the game on a forced error of a Frazzled Sabalenka.

Sabalenka made a comeback, winning the next three games and also winning a 4-4 draw. At the time, he said “I thought I should win it.” I felt like I was fighting really well. “

But it was Williams. She held on and to stay in the match with Sabalenka, Williams got enough balls to knock off her young rival, whose service game ended with a double fault and two forehand unforced errors.

“I just need to play better on big points,” Williams said. “I knew I could. I still had not reached my peak. I was like, ‘Okay, Serena, you get it. just keep going.'”

After 23 major singles titles and hundreds of millions of dollars in prize money and support and motherhood, how does Williams find the motivation to chase a tennis ball?

The answer can be found in how Williams spent his day. After her Saturday practice, she put her daughter down for a nap and then made a call for work in the United States, finalizing orders and obsessing about clothes for her S by the Serena fashion line, which He described his “second career”.

Williams has a method for multitasking. She has been doing this all her life, she said. She never played a full tennis schedule as a junior and never played a full schedule as a pro.

“I still went to college, I still did a lot of other things,” Williams said. “I had other careers. It was impossible to burn it. “

The Convention believes Williams has continued to play as he has a career record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles at Margaret Court. But the truth can be simple.

“I like my job,” he said. “I like what I do.” It is very special that I come out and still do it. “



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