On the day the US Open confirmed their plans for the 2020 event they also shared an announcement from Serena Williams who confirmed her attendance at Flushing Meadows at the end of August.
Serena said it is exciting and will miss the crowd helping her throw the tough matches but is excited to returning.
It will be different for everyone coming into a major with little momentum and playing on a 30,000 seater stadium with a handful of people in.
If anyone can adapt it is Serena. People say she hasn’t won any of her last three major finals in the hunt for number 24 but she has shown time and time again how she can turn up with limited game time to a major and go deep.
Since Serena returned no one has a more combined wins record per year at the majors despite little preparation due to a bit of an injury problem.
If anyone is going to find that intensity it is Serena and her preparations have been unlike anyone else’s.
Stacey Allaster who is the former WTA CEO and has just been announced to be the first woman to be Tournament Director of the US Open confirmed Serena has a new court:
“I can confirm that the surface provided by Laykold for the 2020 US Open and Western & Southern Open was shipped to Serena’s house. She has a new court in her backyard. So she has been training. Again, she’s training. She will be playing. She’s excited to come back. Like all athletes, they’ll make their decision at a time that makes sense for them”
A whole court delivered to her house with the new surface for her to get used too.
No one prepares quite like Serena!
Since this announcement there hasn’t been any videos of Serena practicing but it is known she is doing a lot on a day! Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou can’t be with her and is at his academy in Nice but you imagine they talk a few times a week.
Serena couldn’t be at Patrick’s academy for the students graduation in early July so sent a message to the graduates.
Serena recorded her video from what is believed to be her court and not at Palm Springs on the surface that will be used at the US Open and Cincinnati (held in New York).
People might think a court is a court but the surfaces vary and change a lot now. The Australian Open changed their surface this year to one from Greetset which looked a little bit slower and it does change a lot on hard courts and is a key component in preparing for a major.
In an interview with BBC Wimbledon in early July, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou was asked how is Serena doing and what has been doing to practice? Patrick said:
“Serena rested first as she needed to rest”
She has done “a lot of fitness” in the “last four weeks she came back to tennis and has been doing a lot of tennis”
When asked about US Open he said “she’ll be ready”
“As soon as she knew the US Open would take place something clicked in her mind, she’ll be ready for the US Open”
I remember during a Instagram Live between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic they spoke about changing events from Sunday to Monday quickly and Djokovic said “bounce in Cincinnati in the day is similar to Madrid in the heat despite being on different surfaces” the time of day and structure of the stadium can also have an effect as well as having a roof.