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Why They'll Win, Why They Won't: Serena Williams

Saturday, August 24, 2013 /by

Despite Serena’s astounding achievements, the 16-time Grand Slam champion has never successfully defended a US Open title—in singles or doubles—and has been victimized by implosions and nerves in New York. The self-admitted perfectionist wants so badly to play well in her national major that she can stress under self-imposed pressure. And when considering that Williams was bothered by a strained abdominal that sapped sting from her second serve and squandered a lead in losing both the Cincinnati final and her 14-match winning streak, the woman who has rampaged to a 60-4 record and eight titles this year suddenly no longer looks quite so invincible. Serena, however, says she isn’t satisfied winning only one of the first three Grand Slam titles this year, so she should be pumped for a run to a seventh US Open final.

Why She’ll Win: Serena will be vigilant after suffering upsets at the Australian Open and Wimbledon and she’s playing for a Grand Slam-record $3.6 million payday, which will add more fuel to her competitive fire.

Why She Won’t: Two of her four losses this year have come in Grand Slams, she has lost to Victoria Azarenka in two hard-court finals, and she’s been vulnerable to implosions and nerves in New York.

Bottom Line: Serena plays her boldest tennis and makes her biggest statements on Grand Slam stages. She has dominated the Top 10; if she manages her nerve, she’ll reach her third straight US Open final.

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