US Open: Serena Williams’ last hurrah at home grand slam headlines fascinating two weeks of tennis
A week of tennis to savor and laugh at
by John Bacon
Serena Williams reached her last Grand Slam final on Sunday, winning the Australian Open with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory over world no. 1 player Rafael Nadal. It was an extraordinary end to a year of remarkable tennis, the culmination of a meteoric rise that began after Williams’ first major title of the year in the French Open.
Williams’ year has been filled with ups and downs, and while there were moments that brought her to tears, it was also a time of deep joy and happiness for her. She lost in the French Open final to eventual champion Simona Halep but went on to upset a few more world no. 1s along the way. She had a perfect record in Grand Slams and made her third at Wimbledon, after finishing runner up there five years ago.
But as we all know, the Williams story has not ended. Williams returns to the Australian Open as the defending champion.
It is a great chance for the Williams family to reflect on their remarkable year and one that will live on forever. There will be a lot of history made this week.
When it comes to Serena’s last match at the Australian Open, it was hard to imagine a bigger one than yesterday. There has rarely been a better moment in any sport than the climax of the most important week in sport. This is no different; the grandest of all stories is about to reach its climax.
The drama of Williams’ last grand slam final began just 11 days ago when she was knocked out of the French Open in the semifinals by Angelique Kerber. It was a crushing defeat, a loss that was unexpected and that put the Williams’ world on hold, as her comeback was thrown into disarray.
It was a period that Williams found very difficult to take. But when she made that comment about feeling like “a piece of meat” in a BBC interview after the French Open, she was showing she had lost her swagger. The Williams’ were always confident, but they were also known to play with arrogance.