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Serena Williams sends strongest US Open signal with entry into another lead-up event

Serena WIlliams has entered Toronto and Cincinnati before next month’s US Open. The last time she played two lead-up tournaments during the US Open swing was in 2015

Serena Williams at the 2019 US Open Serena Williams at the 2019 US Open Image Credit: Zuma/ Panoramic

After her first round exit at Wimbledon, nobody was sure when Serena Williams would play her next match. Not even Serena herself. In her press conference, the American’s words reflected her uncertainty surrounding her future on the court.

“I don’t know. Like I said coming into this, I’m just planning for right now, seeing how I feel, just to go from there. That’s a question I can’t answer. Like, I don’t know. I feel like, I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up.”

At that same press conference, Williams did admit that the US Open was a motivating factor for her. The American has won her home Slam on six occasions and it was also the venue of her first Grand Slam title in 1999.

“When you’re at home, especially in New York, and the US Open, that being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam, is something that’s always super special. Your first time is always special. There’s definitely lots of motivation to get better and to play at home,” Williams said after her loss to Harmony Tan.

Serena Williams, Wimbledon 2022
Serena Williams, Wimbledon 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Well, it now seems that the US Open is surely on Serena’s mind as the American has entered the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, one of the two key tune-up events leading into the final Grand Slam of the season. Just a few days ago, it was announced that Williams had entered the other one – the National Bank Open in Toronto, Canada, which begins on August 6.

While a lot can change between now and the start of Toronto, Williams’ entry into both the events is a clear signal that she intends to play the US Open and wants to get more matches under her belt before reaching New York.

The last time Serena Williams played two events during the American hardcourt summer swing was way back in 2015, the year she went into New York with a chance to win the calendar Grand Slam (eventually stopped two matches short in the semi-finals by Roberta Vinci, of Italy).

Williams is currently tied with Chris Evert for most US Open women’s singles titles in the Open Era and remains one Major short of equaling the all-time Grand Slam record held by Margaret Court. When she does turn up in New York, she could very well be rewriting the history books.

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