Serena Williams is getting ready to mount another challenge for the Australian Open title, but this will be the most complicated attempt yet of her career. All the players participating in the year's first Slam have to undergo a tricky period in quarantine, and according to the latest reports, Serena is one of those who will be staying in multiple cities after arriving in Australia.
Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley recently revealed that the world's best players on both the men's and women's sides will be serving their pre-tournament quarantine in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. That includes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem, as well as Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep.
But now, Serena Williams has also been added to the list of players who will be serving their quarantine in Adelaide. The American will also reportedly feature in the two-day exhibition event called 'A Day at the Drive' in Adelaide.
If things go to plan, Serena Williams will be joined by local favorites Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios - in addition to Nadal, Djokovic, Thiem, Osaka and Halep - for the exhibition. The event is scheduled to be held on 29 and 30 January.
Serena Williams and all the other top players quarantining in Adelaide will finish their 14-day isolation period before the exhibition, which will reportedly accommodate nearly 4,000 spectators.
Grand Slam record beckons for Serena Williams at the Australian Open
Serena Williams will enter the 2021 season and the Australian Open with heavy expectations on her shoulders. She remains just one shy of Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles - the most by any player, male or female, in the history of the game.
Unarguably one of the greatest players to have ever picked up a racquet, Serena Williams had seemed on the verge of going well past Court when she had won her last Slam - the 2017 Australian Open. But due to injuries, a complicated pregnancy and uncharacteristic nerves, Serena has been unable to win a Major over the last four years - despite making four finals in that time.
Serena is far from the favorite this year in Melbourne though. The 39-year-old, clearly in the twilight of her career, will have to deal with the likes of Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and even 19-year-old Iga Swiatek for a shot at the Australian Open title.
All eyes will be firmly on the American as she attempts to make history, with age and recent form against her.Published 08 Jan 2021, 22:30 IST