How Serena Williams’ former coach brought Simona Halep back from the brink of tennis retirement
Serena Williams: ‘I’m a champion of redemption’
Serena Williams has struggled to become a top player since turning professional and losing in the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber in 2009
In her early 20s, Serena Williams arrived at her first professional tournament with a broken foot.
The Wimbledon winner, 30, was back at the tournament in the third round. She lost in the first round to the eventual champion, Kiki Bertens, who broke serve in the first game of the deciding set.
She was, however, determined to regain her former self and that meant going the distance against a talented but struggling player.
“I wasn’t playing with my usual confidence,” began Williams, who now lives near her former training base in Miami.
“It’s hard to explain the motivation. You work hard, you know you have a lot more talent, but you get the feeling that you cannot play to the best of your ability.
“It’s a struggle going through a tournament and then going back home. I was ready for the tournament, I had faith in my ability, but I was not able to play consistently.
But, at least mentally, I was ready to go. I had no expectations going into the match, I was just thinking about going hard, going to go deep, going to win. I’m very happy with the way that match went.”
Playing for the Italian team at the U.S. Open was part of the “redemption story”, according to Williams, who has struggled to become a top player since turning professional in 2008.
“I was a champion of redemption,” she said. “I wanted to go back to the U.S. Open and play a final. It was a difficult decision. I was playing on my injured foot, I was making a lot of mistakes. I made every mistake imaginable. That’s why I