Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

History beckons as Serena shoots for Grand Slam history

History beckons as Serena shoots for Grand Slam history

And Evert, an 18-time slam victor who will be part of ESPN's coverage of the tournament, believes that ultimately Williams' hefty list of accomplishments will outweigh the few contentious moments in her glittering career.

In her Time interview, the rising star doesn't seem to be dwelling on last year's adversities as she prepares for what will most likely be the biggest challenge of her career.

Osaka will face world No. 86 Magda Linette, of Poland, in the first round of the Australian Open.

The tournament's top-seed and World's No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who is the Australian Open six-time champion and aims this month for record-breaking 7th title, is facing a qualifier in the opening hurdle in Melbourne.

The 28-year-old Dane insists she can manage the debilitating auto-immune condition, which sometimes leaves her so exhausted she cannot raise her arms above her head. She has a gentle opener against the unseeded German Tatjana Maria, but could play world No1 Simona Halep in the fourth round and is in the same half as Naomi Osaka, who beat her in the final of the US Open in September.

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.

"In general, it's about her offensive game", Rittner told Deutsche Welle of the three-time Grand Slam champion who lost an agonising, breathless semi-final 9-7 in the final set to Halep in Melbourne past year.

Despite being ranked outside the top 10, few would be fearless enough to count Williams out of the equation as she aims to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

Serena received a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling the umpire a "liar" and a "thief" during the US Open final.

"I have no reason to believe that Sabalenka will not win more than one Grand Slam. Why?"

The 21-year-old Osaka backed up her US Open win by riding a wave of fanatical home support to reach the final of the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo without dropping a set.

January sees the tennis season blaze into life on the scorching hard courts of Melbourne Park. "Again, I'm not trying to look too far ahead", the tournament's official website quoted the 37-year-old Swiss player as saying. Her experiences have been a learning experience for me.

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