Tennis

Serena Williams: ‘I honestly never thought I would be playing at 39’

Serena Williams: 'I honestly never thought I would be playing at 39'

Turning 39 on Saturday, Serena Williams became the third player of that age on the WTA rankings list after her sister Venus and Greta Arn. For an even more impressive fact, Serena is still ranked in the top-10, 21 and a half years after reaching the elite group for the first time!

The American feels great on the court after more than two decades spent on the Tour, enjoying every match and not thinking about the retirement yet. Eager to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 Majors, Serena is entering her 18th Roland Garros, opening the campaign against the fellow American Kristie Ahn, seeking the first Parisian title since 2015.

Just a couple of days after losing the US Open semi-final to Victoria Azarenka, Serena traveled to France and worked at Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, shaping up her game for the first event on clay in 2020. After her first practice sessions at Roland Garros, Serena stated she doesn’t prefer the cold weather, coming from California and living in Florida, but still willing to give her 100%.

Feeling privileged for not being satisfied with the semi-final results, Williams is still eager to chase notable titles, always thinking about fighting for the trophies. Seeking the seventh US Open crown, Serena gave her best against her great friend Victoria Azarenka, making a perfect start but suffering a 1-6, 6-3 6-3 loss in an hour and 55 minutes.

It was only the sixth Major semi-final defeat for Serena from 39 she has entered since 1999, ready to bounce back on the Parisian clay. Williams claimed the last Major crown so far in Melbourne 2017, losing the following four finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019, staying competitive on the biggest scene despite her age.

Serena Williams is the third-oldest player on the WTA rankings list.

From the third round at the US Open, one of the most decorated players of all time had to endure tough battles against Sloane Stephens, Maria Sakkari and Tsvetlana Pironkova, prevailing in three sets in every of those to remain on the title course.

Despite an emphatic start against Azarenka, Serena couldn’t bring the match home from there, failing to set another US Open final against Naomi Osaka like in 2017. “I honestly never thought I would be playing at my age.

I mean, I don’t quite look 39. But yeah, I don’t know when it will stop for me; I have fun. When I feel it’s over, it’s over. But I could have guaranteed and pretty much bet my life that I would not have been playing at 39.

In general, I’m a happy, positive person. You have to be excited about each moment that life gives you because you don’t know if it’s going to be your last personally,” Serena Williams said.

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