Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Serena Williams legacy not tarnished by US Open controversy, insists Evert

Serena Williams legacy not tarnished by US Open controversy, insists Evert

The women's draw looks more open even with Serena Williams, the most dominant force in the sport, back and chasing a 24th grand slam singles title to tie Margaret Court's all-time record.

As far as the final match is concerned, in-form Angelique Kerber of Germany could be Williams' opponent. Among those looking to halt Serena's charge: world number one Simona Halep, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open victor Naomi Osaka.

Williams, 37, captured her seventh Australian Open title in her last appearance in Melbourne in 2017, when she was in the early stages of her pregnancy with daughter Alexis Olympia.

"There's no doubt that was a negative but there's no doubt that also previous year when you look at the bigger picture, the fact that she came back from having a child she was really nowhere near 100 percent and she still made the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open was incredible". "It's something that I clearly want but I have to be able to get there and beat a lot of good players to get it", the American said. After returning from the maternity leave, Williams made it to the final of the two Grand Slams but could not surpass the final hurdle.

Williams was handed a warning by U.S. Open chair umpire Carlos Ramos last September for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racket and later a game for a heated argument during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

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Williams reached the finals at Wimbledon and in NY on what was her comeback year on the WTA Tour in 2018 following the birth of her first child.

The Dane finally broke her Grand Slam hoodoo in Melbourne 12 months ago after 12 years of trying, and is determined to prove she remains a force at the top level after dropping the bombshell that she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. "I never feel pressure to perform". The shock diagnosis came after Wozniacki had returned to number one and taken her WTA tour title tally to 30 with victories not only in Melbourne, but also Eastbourne and Beijing. "I think keeping them a bit of a secret helps me do the best I can".

"The fact that she could break the record for overall grand slams, that will overshadow everything at the end of the day".

Halep cloud: World number one Simona Halep of Romania comes into the tournament under a fitness cloud after a nagging back injury curtailed her 2018 season.

First grand-slam of 2019, Australia Open, is all set to begin from January 14.

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