Serena Williams Continues Her Triumphant Return
"I love playing tennis and I love to play here and I love to be back out here."
While Serena Williams sealed her name in the history books long ago, she continues to impress as she is set to play in her 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal match on the 22nd of January 2019 in Melbourne at the Australian Open. This quarterfinal game comes after Williams won over No. 1 seed, Simona Halep in a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 match on the 21st.
This year’s Australian Open is the first time Williams has returned to the tournament since 2017, as she missed last year after giving birth to her daughter and facing related health complications. This absence from the circuit accounted for Williams’ relatively low seed of 16th against Halep’s first, but despite this, Halep was widely considered to be the underdog. Given Williams’ previous record of 8-1 against Halep, and her ability to match and exceed Halep’s efforts to improve that record 9-1, this was understandable. In fact, Williams herself admitted that the six straight games in the first set were quite possibly the best tennis she has played since her return.
Williams’ return to the quarterfinals also brings the possibility of an exciting rematch between her and Naomi Osaka, whom she faced in U.S. Open finals last year. First, however, Williams will have to triumph over seventh seeded Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinal, and Osaka (seed No. 4), will have to beat Anastasija Sevastova to advance to the semifinal as well. Regardless of how these quarterfinal matches turn out, it is exciting to see Williams returning to the top of her game both physically and mentally.