Serena’s Big Return Still An Uncertainty

Serena[1]Serena Williams recently married and gave birth to her first baby, but her tennis career is still on the backburner behind family priorities. The 2017 Australian Open champion has not decided if she will attempt her much-anticipated comeback in Melbourne in January, to defend her title.

Serena’s longtime coach Patrick Mouratoglou told CNN this week that he is scheduled to join the 36 year old, 23-time Grand Slam champion for training in Florida where it will be decided if she is sufficiently prepared to play the Australian Open, which is set for January 15-28th. According to Eaton Thatcher from My Top Sportsbooks, “there is 1/2 odds that Serena Williams will participate in the Australian Open next year.”

“She is practicing and getting back in shape,” Mouratoglou said to CNN. “I will be joining her soon in Florida. We will see how her body is reacting and how her tennis level is and we will take a decision regarding Australia.”

Williams, currently ranked No. 22, has not played a match since defeating her sister Venus 6-4 6-4, in the Australian Open final for her Open Era-record 23rd Grand Slam title.

2017 has been a whirlwind year for Williams who made major changes in her personal life. She gave birth on September 1st to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia. On November 16th she married fiancee Alexis Ohanian at a star-studded ceremony in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was attended by friends Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian, Caroline Wozniacki, and sister Venus in attendance.

Serena and her new husband are on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. That means the seven-time Australian Opem champion will have just under six weeks to train and prepare for the season’s first Grand Slam event.

The last public comments made by Williams about competing again on the professional circuit were made in a telephone conference call this past summer. “Obviously, ideally I would love to come back,” Williams said. “I plan on coming back. I plan on playing. But at the same time, this is a whole new chapter in my life. So I’ll see how that is.”

If Serena decides she is not ready to defend her title in Melbourne, she of course could return to competition in March at Indian Wells or Miami. Roland Garros is the season’s second major, annually taking place in June.

Williams, who has won each major at least three times, has stated that one of her remaining ambitions in tennis is to break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

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  • catherine · November 29, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Myself, I can’t see Serena being ready for Melbourne. She won’t play unless she’s certain.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Jarmere Jenkins is a great guy, played at UV and had some success in the ATP Tour, I saw him lose to Kyrgios at Sarasota Open like 63 64, five years ago, the year Nick won it against Krajinovic in the final. I did a Biofile with Jarmere that week and gave him a copy of Facing Federer. He retired last year I believe, good to see him back on the tennis scene in a high profile gig. I think he had some good wins on the main tour but I have to look it up.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Here is my Biofile with Jarmere…

  • Hartt · November 30, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    This is a different topic but will post this here, as it is the most recent place.

    Frank Dancevic has been named as Canada’s new Davis Cup captain, replacing Martin Laurendeau who will work full-time with Shapovalov. Marty was a terrific captain, with a real passion for DC, but I think Frank is a good choice for that role. He has been a stalwart for Canada’s DC team, has a lot of tennis experience and gets along well with the other players.

    I will never forget the match Frank played against Granollers in a tie against Spain a few years ago. He was totally in the zone, could not miss. Even someone on the Spanish team’s bench had to applaud him. Largely thanks to Dancevic’s efforts Canada won that tie, much to the shock of the Spaniards.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Hartt; Frank Dancevic retired? He gave me one of the best biofiles at US Open about ten years ago. Frank also had a nice run one year in the North American summer hard court season but he never really duplicated that success. Guess he was one of those guys who could play lights out tennis but only sporadically.

  • catherine · November 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Scoop – have you archived/indexed all your biofiles ? You seem to have biofiled so many players mentioned on this site :)

    Would be interesting.

  • Leif Wellington Haase · November 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    At least for the moment, Dancevic is not retiring…he practically bit my head off this fall when I suggested it during the challenger circuit in NorCal, though he may reconsider after he actually takes on the Davis Cup gig.

    Dancevic can still play well in stretches…he is hampered by an inconsistent one-handed backhand that has defined his career. In fact he played a remarkably ill-tempered match against Elias Ymer in Stockton, one of the best challenger matches of the year, in which Ymer staved off several match points and prevailed.

    Interestingly, Ymer– a hardworking young Swede whose career has been marked so far by self-doubt and bad luck– probably turned his own career around with this match, as he has reversed a long tailspin subsequently and may be headed finally to the top 100.

  • Hartt · November 30, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Dancevic seems loathe to actually end his playing days. But at least with this new role he is assured of a place in the tennis world even if he does retire. The Tennis Canada article gives the score for that match against Granollers that I remember, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

    The other part of this story is Laurendeau’s retirement as captain. He played on Canada’s Davis Cup team from 1986 – 1993, was a coach, and then became captain in 2004, He was an important part of DC, staying with it during some not so great times in Canadian tennis. Now he can make a huge contribution as Shapo’s coach. They have worked together since the beginning of the year and Marty must deserve some of the credit for Denis’ terrific season.

  • Hartt · November 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Scoop, enjoyed your Biofile on Dancevic, especially his most embarrassing tennis story of going to the line without his racquet. I remember also he blacked out briefly in the heat of the AO a couple years ago and claimed he saw Snoopy. :)

  • JG · November 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Interesting Ymer is now coached by Soderling, I remember seeing Ymer play US Open qualifying 2 years ago and he was there by himself–no team, no family, no friends watching which was kind of refreshing-he just went out there and played, sort of old school when the players used to just take the subway and show up to play. It appears now Ymer must be taking a more professional approach. Soderling could blast the ball, probably still can.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Yes Catherine I have them all saved, not all on disk, a lot I need to re-type. Have several hundred. I have Biofiled most players, some I have not I remember better – Hewitt, Shapo, Serena, Borg, Laver, Bouchard, Henin, Clijsters, Agassi. I have Biofiled most of the big names including Budge and Kramer.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 30, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    JG; I remember seeing Ymer qualify at US Open two years ago too, I did a Biofile with him after that match. I was surprised also that he had no coach and no team with him to see his very first time qualifying for a major. Even he seemed not too impressed by the win, like it was just another match win for him. Kozlov told me Ymer really hits the ball hard.

  • jg · November 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Stepanak coaching Djokovic

  • Hartt · December 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Scoop, your Biofiles are a wonderful resource. I am doing a little series on ATP players who were coached by their mothers (on Match Call Migrants), just for my own amusement. The one I posted today was on Denis Istomin and his mother, Klaudiya Istomina. Your Biofile on Istomin was a terrific help (with proper credit, of course).

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 1, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thank you Hartt, I remember doing that Biofile with Denis in Delray Beach. He finally had that astounding upset world shaking win over Djokovic after many years of always being a second banana type, always playing well but coming up short in the big matches vs the top guns.



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