Serena Williams hopes to be making her seventh appearance in the finals of the women’s singles tournament of the United States Open Championships. She entered the tourney on Monday as the top seeded female in the field of 128 competitors from all over the world. And she is seeking her 17th Grand Slam title. In fact, she is one of the greatest women’s players of all time.
The tournament goes almost two weeks with the championship and runner-up each seven matches on the hard courts of the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center. There are day and evening sessions through out the tourney.
If Serena wins the tournament, she will take home $3.6 million, the single largest payoff in tennis history.
She’s serving so well once again and she should breeze through most of her opponents.
“This tournament means so important to me,” she said at the draw before the actual competition started. “Growing up I told my dad I want to be able to win this title. (She already has done so and she wants to repeat)..”
“This is the 40th anniversary of equal prize money for both men and women at the US Open and the 40th anniversary of the WTA,” she said. “It’s amazing to be part of such great history and women’s tennis…. It has so many memories….”
Her first US Open championship came in 1999. She followed up with the same singles honor in 2002 and again in 2008. And again last year. In addition, she has been a crowd favorite at the National Tennis Center every time she steps onto the court.
“Every match will be tough,” she went on.
There is such passion for Serena Williams this year, as she lives on her dream.
“I go to practice, and play in front of my toughest (opponents),” she added. “I have to enjoy almost every moment out there in every single match. I always hope that I could do better (than before). So, we’ll see.”
Serena went into the tournament of 128 players feeling very confident that she can take the whole thing. But one never know what can happen along the way.
“Most important is that I feel healthy,” she went on. “I’m excited about the tournament.”
Last year Serena defeated Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, for the title and has been on a roll this year. She even the won Emiraths Air Line US Open Series bonus challenge before entering the US Open.
She loves to compete in Grand Slam tournaments, and the US Open is one of them. She is proud of all those tournaments that she has won.
She won the French Open, the tournament at Bastad on clay and Toronto on hard courts, but lost to Azaranka on hard courts in Cincinnati. The latter is seeded second at the US Open. A rematch could conceivably occur.
Two days prior to the start of the main draw, the USTA staged Arthur Ashe/Kids’ Day, which packed the venue.
Most of the crowd who attended the festivities believed that Serena will win her title while the men’s singles title is a toss-up between any one of five players.
Paula Sinclair and her daughter, Jadys, attended the festivities. They play tennis in the Pelhan Park section of The Bronx where they reside. They certainly enjoyed the festivities especially when the youngster participated in them.
Paula attended St. Mary’s High School in Jamaica, West Indies, where he played soccer. He went on to Baruch College and finished up at Pace College. Paul doesn’t have any tennis experience but his wife Nobelle does as she works at the USTA as an assistant administrator in the IT department.
“I think that Serena and hopefully Federer (Roger) will win the men’s singles title,” Paul said. “She is a great player, I really like her and she is really entertaining.”
Paula lived in Jamaica for his first 24 years.
Another resident of The Bronx, who enjoyed the festivities was Kenny Pollard, whose father hails from Belize , Central America.
Pollard was a basketball player at Junior High School 147 in the Bronx and then a junior college in Paris, Texas, where he was originally from. He was also part of the New York Junior Tennis Association in the ‘80s, played in tournaments, including the Big Apple Games, and trained in Crotona Park in The Bronx.
His daughter Gevonni accompanied him to the Arthur Ashe/Kid’s Day festivities.
Pollard summed up “Who else would win the women’s singles title of The Open but Serena. It’s a fun day here.”