Friday, June 9, 2023
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US Open Preview: Serena Williams' swan song, her tag team dream team, and… another surprise winner?

exist1999, at years old, little William James won her first legendary 14 won the Grand Slam at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens, the stunning world No. 1 Martina Hingis. Tonight at 7 o’clock, she will play her first match in what may be her last professional tennis tournament against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, who although only ranked 14 No. 1 in the world, this time broke into Australia Open and Roland Garros in the third round of the year, defeated defending U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu in the former. The anticipation is exciting, whoever comes out on top — but if Serena wins that bout, she’ll likely face second-seeded Estonia’s Annette Kontaveit in the second round. Contaveit may not be as strong as she appears on paper, though: After a COVID-19, she’s been struggling to get back on the tour. Everything is possible here.

Whether or not Serena makes it through the first few rounds, thank goodness we’ll see more of her: Over the weekend, the Open was awarded to her and sister Victoria Wild card eligibility for Nas to play doubles – although they haven’t played doubles at the Open since then , and since

Haven’t cooperated in a grand slam since , they won Grand Slams (along with three Olympic gold medals). The doubles match begins on Wednesday, with Serena and Venus’ first match — against Czech duo Lucy Hradka and Linda Norskova — on Wednesday or Thursday (if Serena wins her The first game of , we’re assuming it’s going to be Thursday, hopefully in prime time, making this perhaps the most-watched doubles game in history).

In addition to that – there are many

– Who will win this year’s Open? Honestly, it’s anyone’s guess: The field is as vast as recent memory, with plenty of key contenders either receiving minor injuries or just out of shape on the eve of the tournament. Coco Gauff may be the exception to this trend, finding her form and focus at the perfect time – despite being seeded th, as long as the ankle injury she suffered in Cincinnati isn’t still there, she’s very It’s easy to nag to victory here. No. 1 seed Iga Swatek is the clear favorite, but so far this season hasn’t been great. Seventh-seeded Simona Halep has been playing with lights out but appears to be nursing a thigh injury (and doesn’t have a stellar record overall in New York); 11th-seeded Raducanu got Cinderella here last year The title of the story, and since the spotlight has been on her, she hasn’t played nearly as well, but she’s had a hard-court warm-up at the Open, so there’s no impossibility (though she might have to dig deep to get away with it) Her first-round opponent, the tenacious Alize Cornet). Then there’s Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa — again, they’re all capable, but none of them give us a reason to support them heading into Week 1 of the Open.

Let’s move around here: this is Serena’s game, but this year we’re winning it with Coco Gauff – she’s been perfecting her game, her off-court preparation, and her nerves at the moment. With the crowd around her and a favorable route to the later rounds, it was her time.



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