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Can Serena Williams Mount a Challenge at the French Open?

Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ quest to win a fourth French Open looks in rough shape given her lingering injury troubles of late. Despite being ranked No. 10 in the world, Williams astonishingly has only played nine matches in the last eight months. In midst of her persistent knee and physical issues that have forced her to pull out of her last three tournaments, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will still be a threat in Paris if she is 100% fit.

For Williams, it would appear realistically any aspirations she has of winning a 24th Grand Slam title in Paris and tying Margaret Court’s all-time record for the most Grand Slams singles titles will have to be put on hold until Wimbledon. In London, even without hardly playing any tennis, this year she will be one of the favourites heading into The Championships.

Along with Williams, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki have both suffered an injury-hit 2019. All three women have played an instrumental part in the success of the WTA during the courses of their illustrious careers. The likes of World No. 1 Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are now spearheading the next generation of women’s tennis, making it a daunting road back for these three veterans of the game.

Having to withdraw from three consecutive tournaments in Rome, Miami and Indian Wells is new territory for Williams. This is definitely unwanted trend that she hopes will not continue. Time will tell if this is nothing more than a minor setback for Williams or something that she and her legion of supporters should be worried about.

Serena Williams’ Draw

Williams opens her French Open account against 82nd-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko. The American could face eight-seeded Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round before a potential blockbuster meeting with Naomi Osaka in the quarterfinals. We would then see whether Williams’ lack of matches this year will deteriorate her progress in the likelihood of her reaching the business end of Roland Garros.

Williams, 37, is 28-4 at the French Open and won the event in 2002, 2013, and 2015. However, she has only played four matches on clay this year. It will take a monumental effort from Williams to go deep in the tournament given all the circumstances. Of course, you can never dismiss the threat of Williams when a Grand Slam comes around–especially in her continued pursuit of history.

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