The entire tennis fraternity has dubbed her the overwhelming favourite to win the French Open this year, but World Number one Serena Williams reckons that she is far from ready to face a clay-court season.
The revelation, coming on the back of a hard fought win against Sara Errani in the Fed Cup, comes as a shock, particularly when seen against the raging form that the American ace has been in. Serena has been nigh unstoppable this year. After a victorious campaign at the Australian Open, she enjoyed a terrific run at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, before a knee injury forced her to pull out of the semi-final at the event.
However, she made amends for her withdrawal at Indian Wells by romping to a win at Miami. Her splendid performances in the tournaments notwithstanding, Serena remains convinced that there is work to be done.
Against Errani, Serena had to rally from one set down to win the match 4-6, 7-6, 6-3. She dubbed the match a real ‘Eye-opener’. “Today has been a big eye-opener; I’m totally not as ready for the clay-court season as I thought I was. Now I’m in the mind set of, ‘You know what, I’m not on hard court.’ I’m playing like I’m on hard court and I’m not. So I have to play and be ready to hit a thousand shots if necessary”, said Serena.
USA lost the Fed Cup encounter 2-3, after Serena and Alison Riske were trounced by Flavia Pennetta and Errani in the doubles encounter. USA has now been relegated to Group II as a consequence of the loss.
Her victory at the Australian Open has sparked speculations about the possibility of Serena winning all the four Majors this year. Serena’s win-loss record reads 20-0 this season. The American, who has 19 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, has won the Roland Garros crown on two occasions. Her first win in Paris came in 2002 and she reclaimed the crown after a 11-year gap for the second time in 2013.