After a baby break in late 2017 and 2018, Serena Williams got off to quite a slow start after her return.
But she’s now ranked No. 9 on the WTA and is back to being a frequent match favorite at sportsbooks around the world. In the Singles Race Rankings, she’s listed at No. 9. But can Serena reclaim dominance and climb her way back to the top, above the likes of Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, and Ashleigh Barty?
The 2019 Season
The season started out with promise when Serena made the Quarter-Finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne. But she exited the tournament with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 loss to the then No. 7 ranked Karolina Pliskova. It was a hard-fought match, with Serena smashing 12 aces past the Czech. A big factor in the match was the fact that Williams also dished out 4 double-faults to Karolina’s zero.
Spring and early summer were particularly slow for Serena. She failed to even make the Quarter-Finals in February, March, April, May, and June. In the Indian Wells Open, she lost in two sets in the Round of 32 against Garbine Muguruza. Then she retired from the Round of 32 against Wang in the Miami Open. In the Italian Open, after beating Rebecca Peterson, 6-4, 6-2, Serena Retired from her Round of 32 against her sister Venus. She then skipped the Madrid Open to heal up for the French Open. Serena defeated Diatchenko in the First Round, then Nara in the Second Round, only to be defeated by Kenin in the 3rd. Once again, missing the Quarter-Finals.
Finally comes Wimbledon and Serena made her way through ranks all of the way to the Finals where she was beaten by Simona Halep in two straight sets. However, she showed signs of a resurgence by making the Finals and finishing as the runner-up. Now here is where things start to get interesting and Serena heats up. She followed up her Wimbledon performance with another Finals appearance. This time, at the Canadian Open against the No. 5 ranked Bianca Andreescu. Serena made her way past Mertens, and a No. 2 ranked Osaka to face the young Canadian in the Finals. However, she had to withdraw due to injury during the first set and the win defaulted to Andreescu. However, it was a great moment for tennis as Bianca became the first Canadian hoist the Rogers Cup in more than 50 years.
But this wouldn’t be the last that these two saw of each other. Both made their way to the Finals at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open. This time they battled it out and Bianca got the legitimate win.
So, Serena has proven that she could get back to the top, with three straight Finals appearances. That said, she didn’t take the win an any. It remains to be seen if she’ll be present for the Year-End Championships in China. A good showing in Shenzhen and Zhuhai could lift her a bit more in the WTA rankings.
But will she reach No. 1 in 2020?
It’s doubtful. There are a lot of extremely talented young women on tour right now and Serena has become injury-prone. We see this happen with ‘power players’ in many sports as they age. Thirty-eight is by no means old by normal standards, but the body doesn’t hold up to the rigors of elite competition like it does when in your twenties. And, when it breakdown it takes longer to heal. Serena still has the talent to hit No. 1; it is possible. However, it’s unlikely that she can remain healthy enough throughout an entire season to reach Number One.
Serena Williams’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.9, the American played her last match on the 7th of September when she lost to Bianca Vanessa Andreescu 6-3 7-5 in the final in U.S. Open.
Serena Williams’s best performance of this season was getting to the final in at the U.S. Open, Toronto, and in Wimbledon.
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