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Chris Evert: ‘I’m getting a little worried for Serena Williams’

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Serena Williams has failed to win a Major title in three consecutive seasons for the first time in a career! The American claimed the 23rd trophy at the Australian Open 2017 over her sister Venus, taking a break to give berth to a child and returning in 2018.

Targeting that elusive 24th Major crown, Serena dropped everything on four most notable tournaments, reaching back-to-back finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open in the previous two seasons. It wasn’t to be for the American, though, suffering four painful losses and hoping to make that extra step in 2020.

After an early loss, that didn’t come in Melbourne, preparing for Roland Garros and Wimbledon when the coronavirus halted the action between March and August. Wimbledon had to be canceled for the first time since 1945, and Serena turned her focus on the home Major in New York, seeking the seventh title and the first since 2014.

The veteran reached the semis for the 11th straight time, making a strong start against Victoria Azarenka before losing ground to propel the Belarusian through. Ready to give it a shot in her beloved Paris, Serena went to Europe and trained at Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, seeking the first Roland Garros title in five years.

The American won the first-round match before withdrawing with an Achilles injury ahead of the clash with Tsvetlana Pironkova, missing another chance in the quest for the 24th Major title. Williams will have to take a couple of weeks to recover, hoping to get ready at 100% ahead of 2021.

Serena Williams had to withdraw from Roland Garros with an Achilles injury.
Another American legend Chris Evert is a bit worried for Serena, praising her qualities but wondering will her fitness follow the other elements and give her more chances of fighting for the Major titles.

In the first round in Paris, Serena defeated Kristie Ahn 7-6, 6-0 in an hour and 41 minutes, securing the 66th win in Paris and the 357th at Majors. In New York, Williams toppled Ahn in straight sets in the first round, repeating that in Paris on Monday after a challenging opening set that lasted for 72 minutes.

As it turned out, Ahn had nothing left in the tank after that, allowing Serena to produce a bagel and open the title chase before that injury that ended her run. “I’m getting a little worried for Serena. I thought her better chance was at the US Open; I didn’t think it would happen at the French Open, and it depends on her commitment to her fitness level.

The tools, shots, power and mentality are there; she is brilliant in those aspects. However, I still feel that she can get a little bit leaner, and that will help her to get quicker around the court and get those sharp angles, getting in the better positions for shots,” Chris Evert said.

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‘I was down’: Federer had hard time before 2nd knee surgery

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Roger Federer never seriously contemplated retirement while he was away from the tennis tour for more than a year. He did have a hard time dealing with the need for a repeat operation on his bad right knee, though.

“I was down. Obviously I couldn’t believe I had to do a second one,” Federer said Sunday ahead of his appearance at the Qatar Open. “This is definitely a moment where you maybe question a little bit more.”

The 39-year-old Federer’s first match since the 2020 Australian Open will come Wednesday in Doha against Dan Evans or Jeremy Chardy.

Federer’s first procedure on his right knee occurred in February 2020. That knee kept swelling up after bike rides or walks with his four children; he announced in June that he had had a second surgery.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will monitor how this comeback goes over the next several months and then assess things.

“I know it’s more on the rare side for almost a 40-year-old to come back after almost a year being out. And I was surprised how long it took. But I took a decision quite early with the team that I wanted to take the time, no rush, to get back onto the tour,” he said. “Important is that I’m injury-free, pain-free, and I can actually enjoy myself out there on tour. So we’ll see how it goes now. I’m curious myself to find out.”

What seemed clear from Federer’s session with reporters on Sunday: Wimbledon is what matters the most to him at this point.

He has won a men’s-record eight titles at the All England Club and came oh-so-close to a ninth in the 2019 final there, holding two championship points before eventually losing to Novak Djokovic in a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Wimbledon was canceled last year for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is scheduled to be played June 28 to July 11.

“I know I need to go back to training after here again,” said Federer, who pulled out of the Miami Open later this month. “So from this standpoint, it’s still a building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster and all that stuff. I hope, then, by Wimbledon, I’m going to be 100%, and from then on, then the season really starts for me. Everything until then, it’s just ‘Let’s see how it goes.’”

He is curious what travel and tournament life will be like during a pandemic — “bubble life, quarantines all around, the whole mask situation” — and, most of all, how his repaired knee handles competition.

“That’s really the only concern I have: Is the knee going to hold up? As of now, I’m not sure,” Federer said. “I did everything I possibly could.”

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Serena Williams & More Celebs React To Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Interview With Oprah

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s two hour tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey shocked everyone when the couple revealed what it was like being senior members of the royal family and why they chose to step back. They openly spoke about their current relationships with their royal family members, the deep personal struggles they faced while living in London and their hopes for the future as the become a family of four. One of Meghan’s closest friends, Serena Williams, praised her with a powerful note but she wasn’t the only famous person her take on the bombshell interview. Celebrities, sports stars, journalists and more are reacting on social media.

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Serena Williams called Meghan Markle ‘truly noble’ after her tell-all interview – see inside their 7-year friendship

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They may be the greatest tennis player of all time and the first American to marry into the royal family in decades (and the first to leave in decades), but Serena Williams and Meghan Markle have remained loyal friends since their first real hang out in 2014.

Since then, the two have became close confidantes, with Markle regularly attending Williams’ tennis matches, and Williams defending her friend from the mountain of negative attention she’s received since 2017. After Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Williams took to Instagram to call her friend “truly noble.”

Keep scrolling to learn more about their sweet, yet private, friendship.

February 2010: Williams and Markle meet at the Super Bowl in Miami.

Markle wrote on her now-defunct blog The Tig that the two crossed paths for the first time in Miami during the 2010 Super Bowl. But it would take a few more years for their friendship to blossom.

February 2014: They become friends while playing in the DirecTV Beach Bowl.

Markle, who was then starring on “Suits,” and Williams crossed paths again at the event, playing flag football together at a celebrity game.

“We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girlie stuff. So began our friendship,” Markle would write later on The Tig.

September 2014: Markle congratulates Williams on Twitter for winning the US Open, and their friendship grows.

Markle shared more about their friendship on The Tig: “She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto.”

She added, “We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations — our endless ambition.”

January 2015: Markle once again congratulates Williams on winning, this time the Australian Open.

“So happy for you @serenawilliams!! I was juuuust hugging you for your win at #usopen. Now @AustralianOpen! #onfire,” Markle tweeted alongside a photo of them hugging at the US Open.

September 2016: Markle posts a funny photo of the two at Fashion Week and congratulates Williams for her line.

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