Serena down but not out -- expect a backlash in 2016; IPTL participation on tenterhooks

SERENA WILLIAMS HAS not been seen in action after her shocking loss to Roberta Vinci in the semis of the 2015 US Open. 

Just when the World no.1 was expected to win her maiden calendar slam, Williams was stunned in New York. Since then, the 21-time grand slam champion has been off the women’s circuit, trying to recuperate from a knee injury. 

Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou said her knee problems had contributed to her defeat at Flushing Meadows. 

“With the knees you never know, sometimes the pain is much more. That was the first thing she said when she came to the court to warm up: ‘My knees hurt so much today.’ So she was really struggling to move.”

Williams’ coach, also added that Serena was depressed after her shocking loss to the Italian Vinci in the US Open semis and needed some time off from the game. 

As reported by the guardian, Mouratoglou said,

“She was depressed. The reaction was quite strong. She was really, really affected, which I think is normal when you are Serena. She does everything with 100% of her heart so you are more disappointed when you don’t reach your goal. Plus, she has a level of expectation that is much higher than anyone.”

Williams was pretty upset about her loss and never wanted to speak to her coach for almost two weeks, 

“She doesn’t want to talk when she’s depressed. But it’s better. Because I represent tennis, and when you are recovering after something like this, you have to see people who don’t represent tennis.”

Mouratoglou also feels Serena’s knee troubles are similar to Rafael Nadal’s injuries. 

“It’s the same as Rafa. It’s just playing for so many years, the cartilage is gone. Not all of it, but a big part, so the bones just hit themselves. She has bone bruises, and if you keep on playing with this for too long, too much, the next step is a stress fracture.”

The 21- time Grand Slam champion might be undergoing some physical and mental stress, but it’s too premature to even think of writing off, arguably, the greatest ever champion in women’s tennis. 

The 2015 season has drawn to a close and this could be an ideal time for Serena to cool her heels and come back with a bang in 2016. 

Serena is a part of the Philippine Mavericks team in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and her sheer presence will be quite a spectacle for tennis fans in India. It now remains to be seen if she decides to play for her team, or like Nadal in the inaugural season skip the five-nation event on grounds of injury. 

Meanwhile, Serena on Twitter announced that she will kick-off 2016 by playing the Hopman Cup in Australia, which starts on 3rd January.  


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