Serena Williams set to headline the Kentucky event
Serena Williams is all set to make her return to tennis at the inaugural Top Seed Open WTA event in Kentucky, Lexington next week. Notably, the new hard-court tournament will end the six-month hiatus of Williams. The 23-time Slam winner, on Saturday, said she is willing to participate in the US Open and French Open amid rising concerns due to COVID-19. Here is more.
'I see myself playing it all', says Williams
"I see myself doing it all if it happens. But I am not planning for the future, as tournaments got canceled I was just like, 'Let me just work on today and see what happens'," Williams said during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
Kentucky event to begin on August 10
Serena Williams will take part in the Kentucky event. Other participants include her sister Venus Williams, 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, American teenager Coco Gauff and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. This will be the first US-based WTA tournament held since the Oracle Challenger Series (March 2-8). Notably, the tournament is scheduled to be held from August 10-17.
Williams all set for US Open return
Williams is determined to compete at the US Open even though a number of marquee players have withdrawn from the same. Recently, the likes of Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty pulled out of the tournament in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Nonetheless, the women's draw will be headlined by Romania's Simona Halep, the reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and Williams.
Williams will have to be cautious regarding health
It is understood that Williams has a history of pulmonary embolisms, which has restricted her lung capacity over the years. "With health concerns, I am careful and everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected. It is cool to play tennis, but this is my life, I have been a little bit neurotic. That is how I have to be right now," she added.
How has Serena fared in 2020 so far?
In January, Williams clinched the singles title, having defeated fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 in the final at the ASB Classic. In the Fed Cup, she beat Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) but lost to Anastasija Sevastova 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-7 (4-7).
What lies ahead for Williams?
Following the Kentucky tournament, Williams will also headline the entry list for the Western and Southern Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The event will be a lead-up to the impending US Open. Following the US Open, Williams will proceed to the French Open, will run from September 20 to October 4 at the Roland Garros.