Perhaps, in a few months, we could say that the security protocols and all the impositions of the Flushing Meadows bubble, imposed by the tournament board and by the USTA for the participants of the US Open 2020, have helped Serena Williams.
The Americana is looking for the Slam record, which still belongs to Margaret Smith (24 titles). Serena, only one Grand Slam from the Australian, has this last great goal for her career: Williams is perhaps the greatest tennis player in the history of women's tennis (and not only) and she still doesn't have much to ask and try from her amazing career, but that record is becoming a nightmare: after winning the Australian Open 2017 and motherhood, Serena played four Slam finals, two at Wimbledon and two at the US Open (2018 and 2019), always losing.
But this year, even with the global pandemic making the most important event in American tennis more sad and cloudy, Serena will perhaps have the best chance of her life to be able to achieve the long-dreamed (and perhaps hated!) Slam record.
Before this seriously becomes a chronic nightmare.
Serena Williams' super Slam record chance: now or never
Without many top player rivals and without the crowd pressure at Flushing Meadows, Serena will have the biggest chance of her life to break the record.
The situation of the US Open women's singles is even more dramatic, respect that of the men's singles, with the absences of Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Andreescu, Kiki Bertens, Belinda Bencic, Wang Qiang, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Saisai Zheng, Julia Goerges, Barbora Strycova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Fiona Ferro, Lin Zhu, Yafan Wang, Anastasia Potapanova and Samantha Stosur.
Halep and Andreescu are the rivals who defeated Serena in the Wimbledon and US Open finals 2019. Crowd pressure played tricks on Serena in recent years in New York. In 2015, the sensational defeat against Roberta Vinci was one of the symptoms of this home syndrome, which caused the American to fail for five consecutive years.
That was the best example: what a match Serena would win 99 times out of 100. But this time many opponents will be out and the crowd will not be there. She will have to hold the pressure and get a good shape, in order to increase her chance to reach the second New York week and try to win the title.
It could be the best conditions for Serena to win the 24 Grand Slam of her glorious career and fulfill a dream that has gotten out of hand too many times: now or never.