Serena Williams is giving serious thought to participating at the French Open tennis Championship which opens this weekend at Roland Garros.
The former world No 1 who has so far failed to return to the top rankings after taking time off to nurse her new baby, Olympia wants desperately to return to her former pride of place amongst the world’s best and is hoping that Roland Garros would be the perfect stage.
Serena returned from Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in London on Sunday to resume training for the French Open, a championship she has won thrice in the past.
Roland Garros organisers posted a 4min 40sec video of the American hitting forehands and backhands on the showpiece Court Philippe Chartrier under the watchful eye of long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
Williams landed a 23rd major at 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, but Mouratoglou admitted that the 36-year old, who lost early in Indian Wells and Miami in March and then withdrew from this month’s Madrid and Rome tournaments, returned to the WTA Tour too soon.
Mouratoglou, however, insisted: “Serena will play the French Open to win it.
“Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything – after being her coach for six years, I’m even more sure of that statement,” he said in an interview.
“After her pregnancy, Serena had to rebuild her body. When she arrived at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy (in Nice), around April 30, we realised that she was not ready yet. The time she lost after the delivery with all the medical issues she had to go through, was missing,” said Mouratoglou.
Mouratoglou added: “What I find the most encouraging is her enthusiasm, her motivation, and the quality of her work. Thanks to that, she is making impressive progress. She is hitting the ball great already and her body is getting back to what it used to be. The goal is that she comes back even stronger than before.
“She obviously comes back to win and the wait has been long, so she will probably start Roland Garros with a mix of stress because she will want to do well and excitement because playing those events is the reason why she made such huge efforts to come back.