The SpongeBob-esque trophy case aside, Williams has still embarked on a stretch many tennis players could only dream of. She gave birth to her first child in September 2017, a process complicated by a blood clot in her lungs. A major victory has eluded her since, but she’s still posted respectable showings for someone who had to overcome a great ordeal. Williams further revealed in 2018 she was suffering from post-partum depression.
Uncharacteristic lopsided losses in early rounds have ensued, but her tally also includes a pair of runner-up finishes at Wimbledon, not to mention a 2018 US Open final appearance that was overshadowed by several lost points, including a confrontation with the chair umpire.
Since welcoming her daughter Alexis into the world, Williams has experienced some of the lowest lows of her career, but signs of the typical Serena have resurfaced in New York City. This year’s US Open has been a throwback of sorts, reminding just how dominant she can be. Only a single set thus far hasn’t gone Williams’ way as she rides a massive wave of momentum into Saturday’s final.
Williams has been nonchalant about her latest accomplishments, including her 101st victory in Flushing Meadows, tying Chris Evert for the most all-time. A victory over Andreescu, 19, would tie Williams for the most Grand Slam singles titles of all-time with Margaret Court (24).
“It’s just impressive, I guess,” Williams said, per the AP. “I don’t think about it. I just come out here and do what I can.”
Should the public enjoy it while they can?
Doubting Williams at this point is much like counting out the New England Patriots in football or the Houston Comets at the onset of the WNBA. Bet against them at your own risk. Williams’ post-pregnancy record, is again, a tally tennis players of any gender or age would probably kill to have.
Williams, 37, recently gave a polarizing interview in which she mentioned two contrasting tidbits. First, playing into her late 30’s was something she felt her 17-year-old self would find ridiculous.
“At 17 I thought for sure I’d be retired at 28, 29, living my life,” Williams said, per Mikael McKenzie of the Daily Express. “So, yeah, I would have thought it was a sick joke.”
The champion would later admit that even if she previously passed Court for the most major titles, she wouldn’t be ready to put down her racket:
“I definitely would still be playing if I had already passed it. I’ve had so many chances to pass it and to have a lot more, but it’s cool because I’m playing in an era with so many – five eras with so many amazing players. If you look at the span of the career, the players I’ve played, it’s amazing that I was able to get this many.”
Simply put, from Williams’ point of view, what stop now?
Williams is set to take on Andreescu on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. ET.