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Serena Williams has golden opportunity to win US Open as a mother - Metro US

Serena Williams has golden opportunity to win US Open as a mother

Serena Williams. (Photo: Getty Images)
Only a handful of women have ever won a Grand Slam tournament as a mother.
 
Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong and, most recently, Kim Clijsters are in that select club. Clijsters, who won the U.S. Open in 2009 and ’10 and the Australian Open in 2011 is the only player ever to win more majors after becoming a mother than before.
 
Now here comes Serena Williams with yet another chance to win a title as a mom. Williams is 0-3 in major finals since giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September 2017. She will try to end that ignominious streak on Saturday when she plays 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada in the U.S. Open final. 
 
It will be a rematch of the Canadian Open final from last month where Serena was forced to retire in the first set with back spasms. A win would give Serena her seventh Open crown and her 24th major, tying her with Court atop the all-time list.
 
“I think it’s amazing to come back with a baby and win because it’s hard,” No. 8 seed Williams said after destroying No. 5 Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 6-1, in the semifinals Thursday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium. She now has 101 career wins at the U.S. Open, one more than 18-time major win Chrissie Evert.
 
“My day off isn’t a day off. I’m literally hanging out with baby, I’m doing activities with her. I don’t want her to forget me. I try to spend as much time with her.”

 
Williams, soon to be 38, has said that it’s “painful” to be away from Olympia, especially during a two-week Grand Slam tournament when she has to leave her daughter alone in the evenings for some matches.
 
“Being in a Grand Slam is difficult because it takes away a lot of time that we normally have together,” Williams said. “At her age, she’s starting to really learn things. Her brain is processing things more. I want to be a part of that. I don’t want anything else to take that away. For me, that’s what definitely matters most.”
 
Williams has been here before. After life-threatening complications during childbirth, she returned to the tour in early 2018. She then reached the Wimbledon final but lost to Angelique Kerber. Two months later, she got to the U.S. Open final, losing a highly controversial match to Naomi Osaka after Williams was given repeated warnings and penalties by umpire Carlos Ramos for illegal coaching, racquet abuse, and verbal abuse.
 
This summer, she was destroyed by Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final.
 
Still, Williams isn’t looking back.
 
“I think it’s cool that I’ve been in more finals than I think anyone on tour after being pregnant,” she said. “I think that’s kind of awesome.”
 
“I kind of look at it that way because it’s not easy to go through what I did and come back, and so fast. To keep playing, to also not be 20 years old, yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself.”
 
Williams won her first U.S. Open and first Slam in 1999 — 20 years ago — when Bill Clinton was in the White House and Andre Agassi was winning the men’s title.
 
Her opponents there included Lindsay Davenport, now 43, in the semis, and Martina Hingis, now 38, in the final. Both are long since retired.

 
Williams was asked what her reaction would have been if someone told her 20 years ago that she would still be playing at this age — and still competing for major titles.
 
“I would definitely not have believed them,” she said. “At 17 I thought for sure I’d be retired at 28, 29, living my life. So, yeah, I would have thought it was a sick joke.”
 
Tying and eventually passing Court at 24 majors is her No. 1 goal but Serena has bigger goals beyond that. And she doesn’t plan to stop playing anytime soon.
 
“I definitely would still be playing if I had already passed it,” she said. “I’ve had so many chances to pass it and to have a lot more.”
 
“If you look at the span of the career, the players I’ve played, it’s amazing that I was able to get this many.”

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