In a press conference held before the main draw matches of the French Open 2020 (on Saturday), World No. 9 Serena Williams revealed that she has not fully recovered from her Achilles injury. She sustained this during her match against Victoria Azarenka at the semi-finals of U.S Open 2020.
Serena Williams is gunning to equal Margaret Court’s all-time highest number of grand slams during this year’s French Open. Williams has been just shy of 1 to level up to Court’s record 24, since the last grand slam she won in the 2017 Australian Open. She has reached 4 grand slam finals since her 2017 win, but has often been unable to produce her best tennis during these crucial moments.
Serena Williams initially brushes off injury after U.S Open semi-final loss
The American lost to Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals of U.S Open 2020 after dominating Vika in the first set, allowing her to walk away with just 1 game. During the third set, Williams ran to hit the ball in continuation of a long point and ended up over-stretching her Achilles.
When initially asked about the injury in the U.S Open press conference, the American champ brushed off the time-out she took for the pain in her Achilles. When asked if she was going to get further tests done, she stated, “It feels fine and I just don’t think that had anything to do (with the loss). I think Victoria played well and it (the Achilles injury) didn’t affect my play ultimately at all except for that one point. It’s fine, i’m fine. Yeah.”
Serena Williams’ recent comments about her Achilles injury
Williams has disclosed in a press conference on Saturday that, “I’m not at 100% physically. But I don’t know any athlete that ever plays physically when they’re feeling perfect. That’s just something I think as athletes we have to play with. I didn’t play any tune-ups, which is really rare. But this whole year has been really rare. After New York I flew to France and I’ve just been training at (coach Patrick Mouratoglou’s) academy, mostly rehabbing, trying to be ready.”
Williams, who just turned 39 further added, “I honestly never thought I would be playing at my age. I mean, I don’t quite look 39. But yeah I don’t know when it’s going to stop for me. I just have fun. When I feel it’s over, it’s over, but I could have guaranteed and pretty much bet my life that I would not have been playing at 39.”
She seemed to be light-hearted and stated “I hate the cold. I’m from L.A. and I live in Florida. For half my life I’ve never seen snow. Cold weather and me do not mix. That’s my Achilles heel. But I’m dealing with it. I’m having a positive attitude about it.”
“I wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t think I could perform,” expressed the 23-time grand slam champ, who is gearing up to win her 4th French Open title.