Will Serena Williams ever win slam No 24? – Match Points excerpt

In the latest episode of Match Points, Marion Bartoli, Ben Rothenberg, and Simon Cambers talk to host Josh Cohen about Serena Williams’ chances of ever winning a 24th Grand Slam singles title.

September 19, 2020
The figures

Will Serena Williams ever surpass the Grand Slam singles titles record she shares with Margaret Court? That is once again the question after Williams went down to Victoria Azarenka in the US Open semifinals last week.

The 38-year-old has reached four slam finals – two at the US Open and two at Wimbledon —  since giving birth to her daughter in 2017, but she has not yet been able to get over the hump. At her age and with the rest of the women’s field only getting stronger, it is not getting any easier.

Tough competition

That was a sentiment shared by New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg.

“It’s not getting any easier to win a Grand Slam in women’s tennis,” Rothenberg assured. “The field is so good right now. Naomi Osaka is looking poised to win a lot more. Ashleigh Barty, whenever she comes back, has been incredible…. If she keeps putting herself in these positions over and over again, maybe the end will work out for her. But I’m not confident. It’s a testament to how hard it is to win 23.”

Reasons for optimism

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli feels better about the American’s chances, especially on grass at the All-England Club.

“That’s the easiest surface for her now,” Bartoli noted, “because she can win so many free points with her serve.”

Tennis reporter Simon Cambers agreed.

“I think if she’s going to do it I think it will come at Wimbledon. She must have been more disappointed than anyone when Wimbledon was cancelled…. Roland-Garros is always going to be difficult. She’s got the game, and obviously she has the desire. I think she will get one more; I don’t know if she will get two.”

Just one, of course, is all she needs for the record. Williams’ next shot comes at Roland-Garros, the third and final major of the year. Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, so Williams — and everyone else – will not return to the lawn of London until 2021.

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