Serena Williams Returning To Tennis Is Unlikely, Says Wozniacki
The former world No.1 made the prediction as she paid tribute to the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Caroline Wozniacki has played down speculation about the possibility that Serena Williams could return to the Tour by saying it would be ‘lucky’ if she played an exhibition event.
Wozniacki, who is a long-time friend of Williams, believes the tennis great will not return to the Tour as she is busy with other ventures, such as her high-profile investment fund. Williams last played at the US Open after saying in an article for Vogue magazine that she is starting to evolve away from the sport. However, she hinted during a conference in San Francisco in October that the chances of her staging a return are ‘very high’ but nothing further has been said since then.
Speaking about the chances of a comeback on The Tennis Channel, Wozniacki believes it is unlikely that her former rival will do so. The Dane retired in January 2020 and the last doubles match she played was alongside Williams at the ASB Classic in New Zealand that year.
“I don’t think so. If she plays an exhibition I think that would be lucky but I don’t see her back playing on Tour. There are just so many things going on.” She said.
“I think she loves the game so much and it’s been her life for so many years. But at the same time, she is busy. I don’t think we will see her on a professional tennis court again.”
The two have clashed with each other 11 times on the Tour between 2009-2014 with Williams winning 10 of those meetings. Their meetings include the 2014 US Open final, the semi-final stage of the WTA Finals twice and the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games.
“Playing at the same time as her was tough because there were a lot of tournaments that I felt that I could have probably won if she hadn’t been in my way,” Wozniacki reflected. “But at the same time what an honour it has been to have been there (on the Tour) at the same time as her because I get to play against the best player that ever played this game.”
“I think it was incredible to share a court with her, play against her and I have gained a lifelong friend along the way.”
Whilst being competitors on the court, the two have become good friends. Williams was even one of Wozniacki’s bridesmaids during her wedding with former NBA player Davis Lee in 2019.
“She is just a great person. She is not only, in my opinion, the greatest tennis player of all time that I have played against. She pushed me and all the other women to play better and step up,” she continued.
“Also off the court, she is so thoughtful. She is the first person to call me if I went through anything to make sure I was okay. I really appreciate that.”
According to the International Tennis Integrity Agency, Williams has declared herself as retired from the sport.
The head-to-head record between Wozniacki and Williams
|Year||Name||Round||Surface||Winning Player||Losing Player||Score|
|2014||WTA Champs||SF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||2-6 6-3 7-6(6)|
|2014||US Open||F||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-3 6-3|
|2014||Cincinnati Masters||SF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||2-6 6-2 6-4|
|2014||Canadian Masters||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||4-6 7-5 7-5|
|2013||Beijing||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-1 6-4|
|2012||Olympic Tennis||QF||Grass||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-0 6-3|
|2012||Madrid Masters||R16||Clay||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||1-6 6-3 6-2|
|2012||Miami Masters||QF||Hard||Caroline Wozniacki||Serena Williams||6-4 6-4|
|2011||US Open||SF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-2 6-4|
|2009||WTA Champs||SF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-4 0-1 Retired|
|2009||Sydney||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Caroline Wozniacki||6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(3)|
Grand Slam Glory Is The Main Goal For America’s Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff has big aspirations and she isn’t afraid to speak openly about them.
Following her second round win over Julia Grabher at the French Open on Thursday, the 19-year-old played down the fixation on her current ranking which is No.6 in the world. Gauff admits that her position is something that doesn’t concern her in the sport unless she is sitting at the top of the world rankings.
“I’m not a ranking person at all. The goal is No.1, and I think that’s when I would care about the ranking,” she stated in her press conference.
“Anything in between two and 10, I mean, I’m going to be honest, it’s not that important to me.”
Gauff first broke into the world’s top 10 in September 2022 and has remained there ever since. At the time she was the youngest top 10 debutant on the WTA Tour since Nicole Vaidisova in 2006. She has been ranked as high as No.4 in the world.
“When I made the top 10, it was a cool accomplishment, but for me it was never about staying there. I only want to go upwards,” she said. “The biggest goal is to win Grand Slams, and I think the ranking will come with Grand Slams.”
It was 12 months ago at Roland Garros where Gauff achieved her best performance at a major by reaching the final before losing in straight sets to Iga Swiatek. The tournament is her best Grand Slam in terms of match wins (13) and is the only one where she has reached the quarter-finals or better on multiple occasions. Gauff also won the French Open girls’ title back in 2018 at the age of just 14.
Five years on from the junior triumph, she has become a regular fixture on the Tour. So much so, that there is already another generation of players on the rise. One of those includes Russia’s Mirra Andreeva who says her ultimate goal in tennis is to break Novak Djokovic’s all-time Grand Slam title record which currently stands at 22. Andreeva, who is only the seventh player under the age of 17 to reach the third round of Roland Garros since 1993, will be Gauff’s next opponent.
“I think she knows the game well, and she’s proved her position to be here and proved in her results in the past, so I don’t think the age thing matters,” Gauff commented on her next opponent.
“I’ve never thought about my age, to be honest. This will be my third time playing someone younger than me.
“Honestly, the first two times I didn’t even think about it because when you step on the court, you just see your opponent, and you don’t really think about the personal side of things. You just see forehand, backhand, serve, and all the same.”
Gauff will play Andreeva on Saturday.
Gael Monfils Withdraws From French Open Clash With Rune
After winning a marathon first round clash at the French Open on Tuesday, Gael Monfils has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to a left wrist injury.
The 36-year-old defeated Sebastian Baez in a five-set thriller in his opening match at his home Grand Slam which took place late at night on the Phillip Chatrier Court. Monfils’ win was the first he has recorded on the Tour since returning to action following a foot problem. He suffered a plantar fascia rupture in his right foot last year which sidelined him from competition for seven months.
Now Monfils’ latest injury setback concerns his wrist which he started to feel pain in whilst playing against Baez. He has subsequently been advised to not continue playing to avoid worsening the issue.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. I was quite happy this morning. I woke up quite good, but I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” Monfils said in a late-night press conference on Wednesday. “Felt it during the match, actually the whole match [yesterday]. And unfortunately even [though] we pushed it ’til tonight, just came back again for another exam, and yes, waited a little bit.
“The doctor said [it] was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely said I should stop.”
Monfils has been diagnosed with a Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) injury. He has undergone an Arthroscan (MRI) which will establish how long he may be sidelined from the sport. The Frenchman is set to find out the results later today.
“I think had it been totally broken it would have been more serious, but it’s partial,” Monfils said. “So I’ll know more about the length of time when I’m off the courts. But the doctor said he hopes I’ll be able to play on grass.”
Due to his withdrawal, Danish sixth seed Holger Rune will move into the third round where he will play either Genaro Alberto Olivieri or Andrea Vavassori who have both come through the qualifying rounds.
As for the schedule of play at Roland Garros, Monfils’ match was set to take place in the evening slot. It has been replaced by Alexander Zverev’s clash with Alex Molcan.
Dissatisfied Aryna Sabalenka Reaches French Open Third Round
Aryna Sabalenka has sealed her place in the last 32 of the French Open for the fourth consecutive year after overcoming a spirited performance from qualifier Iryna Shymanovich.
The world No.2 powered her way to a 7-5, 6-2, win over her compatriot in a match where she at times struggled to maintain consistency in her shot-making. Sabalenka’s powerful hitting produced some stunning shots but also resulted in some costly errors which proved pragmatic at times.
“I’m not really happy with my game today,” said Sabalenka, who hit 23 unforced errors compared to 21 winners. “I’m going to work a little bit tomorrow and make sure I’m ready for the next round a little bit better than I was today.”
The first set was a far-from-perfect performance from the reigning Australian Open champion who produced a total of 17 unforced errors. Sabalenka looked to be on a good footing early after breaking for a 4-2 lead but her inconsistency enabled Shymanovich to claw her way back to level. Nudging ahead to a 6-5 lead, the second seed snatched the opener after prevailing in a marathon seven-deuce service game. Two set points came and went before Sabalenka converted her third with the help of a drop shot from her opponent landing out.
Sabalenka, who is challenging Iga Swiatek for the No.1 spot in Paris, started the second set emphatically by breaking for a 2-0 lead. However, she failed to capitalize on the opportunity as once again Shymanovich broke back. Prompting her to look towards her entourage in the crowd in frustration.
Despite the blip, the 25-year-old bounced back to crush her opponent’s hope of a shock win. Surging to a 5-2 lead, Sabalenka worked her way to three match points with a powerful forehand strike that forced her rival to return the ball out. She prevailed on her second opportunity after a Shymanovich shot crashed into the net.
“It was a tough match,” Sabalenka reflected. “She played really great tennis and I’m happy that no matter what I was able to fight for every point. I’m happy to get this win.”
Sabalenka will next take on either Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova or Magdalena Frech. Should she win that match, she will achieve her best-ever run at the French Open. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam where she is yet to reach the semi-final stage.
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