Serena Williams entered the stadium at Arthur Ashe in Flushing Meadows in grand fashion as she prepared for what is expected to be her final tournament. It was originally announced that this will be her final tournament, but Williams walked back the statements after her first-round win and said that she kept things vague on purpose and that there was a chance that she would keep playing after the US Open.
Although many nostalgic fans want Serena to play as long as possible, at the current level which she is playing, she is overshadowing the rest of the tour and preventing young up-and-coming players from being full superstars.
Williams is no longer the best player in the sport, but she still receives media attention that is worthy of the best player in the world. The large shadow that Williams casts over the WTA is blocking the sunlight for up-and-coming players such as Iga Swiatek, Paula Badosa, and Maria Sakkari.
Everybody Loves Serena
Williams had all the attention from the sporting world to the celebrity world, as many big stars from industries around the United States were gathered to watch what could have been her final singles match.
Former president Bill Clinton, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Ruth, Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, Spike Lee, Francisco Lindor, Katie Couric, and of course Billie Jean King, were all in attendance. Some will argue that the preponderance of celebrity eyes on the sport is good, yet I would counter with the fact that most of these people are fans of Serena Williams, and not of the sport of tennis.
Should You Bet on Serena Williams to Win the US Open?
Now that we’ve examined the cult of personality that is Serena Williams and her rabid adoration around the world, let’s take a look at the WTA odds for her to win this tournament.
Yes, she did get a nice first-round 6-3, 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic, however, we saw little to suggest that she can truly compete for the title with the world’s top players. The win over Kovinic was a heartwarming story for Williams fans, yet it is not indicative of being able to play at the top level.
I don’t think Williams has the physical fitness, physical quickness, or consistency to compete here at the top level. Therefore, I would not suggest making a tennis pick on her to win the US Open, regardless of how exciting her first-round win was. There is another bet you can make, however.
In Case You Still Want to Bet on Serena…
Serena Williams is teaming with her sister Venus to play in the doubles. Venus and Serena form one of the most formidable doubles teams of all time. They have won 14 Grand Slam titles, and have never lost a grand slam final. That’s right, they are 14-0 in Grand Slam finals over the course of their playing history.
In a doubles match, the Williams sisters’ current lack of movement will not be able to be exploited by their opponents. In singles, regardless of their once elite athleticism, both Venus and Serena lack the necessary to compete at the top level against the world’s best. However, in doubles, traits such as reflexes and strategy are much more in demand.
Both William sisters can dial up impressive serves, even in their 40s, and this will play well in doubles. Both women are excellent at the net, allowing them to put away points easily. They also have the championship pedigree, which allows them to stay calm and play their best even in a crucial moment of the match.
How To Bet on the Williams Sisters
Serena Williams’ great singles career will come to an end, but she may be able to reach a title in her final tournament by teaming with her sister. A bet on Williams to win the single side is not advised by this writer, but I think the doubles wager is a great bet to play.
This is arguably the best team in women’s doubles history, and doubles players are known for being able to maintain an elite level much longer into their career, because of the lack of demands on quickness and court coverage for playing doubles.
Enjoy the spectacle of Serena Williams’ final singles tournament and make some money off her final doubles tournament.
WTA Pick: Serena Williams/Venus Williams to Win the US Open Doubles Championship