US Open: Why is it so difficult to win a second grand slam?
The 2018 edition of the US Open got off to a bad start as Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament after she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her left knee.
It was a big shock after winning a record seventh Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open, which began on Monday and will run until Aug. 28.
But this year’s US Open is also not as glamorous as it was last year. The men’s draw was relatively weak, with just three of the top 12 players ranked in the world (Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) among the 12 players who started play.
In the women’s draw, Williams is among a field of top four seeds with little competition. Serena was hoping to use this competition to bounce back after her disappointing 2018, when she failed to win a Grand Slam title after consecutive appearances in four slams (Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon).
Williams finished the year as the No. 1-ranked player in the world, but her ranking hasn’t rebounded to any better than 24th after she was upset by Naomi Osaka in the US Open women’s singles final.
The injury has a lot to do with that last-two-seeds situation. In the past, Williams never had to deal with this kind of loss. But that’s changed in the past year.
Williams’ withdrawal from the US Open opens up a chance for her to return to her ‘home’ country to play with her compatriots at Centre Court. Williams had some tough moments in the last year of her career with her mental and physical health in her cross-hairs.
Williams and her team have been in great shape and have a bright future ahead of them. But how will they start the 2019 season with the added pressure of having to wait to see how they bounce back from a disappointing US Open final?