Serena Williams' record is turning from a dream to a nightmare. The American is still at only a Slam to Margaret Smith's record. But now chances and time are against her. If, in fact, at Wimbledon 2018 and US Open 2018 she found physically more prepared opponents like Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka, this year the two defeats against Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu at Wimbledon and at the US Open were the result of a mental block, more than physical.
In fact, unlike last season, Serena played the finals in London and New York as a favorite for the final victory. In both finals, her athletic level seemed good. But she was betrayed by one of her fundamental weapons: pressure management and mental solidity.
Serena deserves applause for what she is doing. Coming back to play after pregnancy is never easy for a tennis player. Going back to play after the pregnancy and winning the Grand Slam tournaments is even more difficult. Serena's life has obviously changed, and the pace of training and preparation is different than before maternity.
However, with just one Slam from the record, every wasted opportunity is an important percentage less to be able to crown the dream. Any times Serena finds an opponent more prepared than her from the physical and mental point of view.
And every time it seems that the pressure of this event blocks her tennis, which, in my opinion, remains the best in women's history. At the Australian Open 2020, there will be a new chance, with all her fierce adversaries (and many) ready to fight for the queen rule.
It is important to emphasize this: obtaining the record depends, however, only by Serena and not on the strength of her opponents. If she reaches other finals and in a good psychological state, then the final result will depend only on her.