Alongside the current calendar issues due to the coronavirus, most tennis fans have been wondering whether Roger Federer and Serena Williams be Major contenders in 2021. Former world no. 1 Jim Courier sees Roger and Serena as contenders for notable titles in the upcoming season if they find they forehand and the first serve, saying they are still very tough to beat, despite their age.
Serena is always dreaming about that elusive 24th Major crown, winning the 23rd at the Australian Open 2017 and wasting opportunities to add more trophies to his tally in 2018 and 2019. The American will remain on 16 year-end top-10 finishes, barely missing a place in the elite group at the end of 2020.
A year ago, Serena did enough to close the year in the top-10 despite a light schedule, missing the honor in the current season despite giving her best at every tournament. After an early loss in Melbourne, Williams prepared for Roland Garros and Wimbledon when the coronavirus halted the action between March and August.
Wimbledon had to close the gates for the first time since 1945, and Serena turned the focus on the home Major in New York, seeking the seventh title and the first since 2014. The veteran reached the last four for the 11th straight time, making a strong start against Victoria Azarenka before losing ground to propel the Belarusian into the title clash.
Ready to give it a shot in Paris, Serena went to Europe and trained at Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, seeking the first Roland Garros title in five years. The American won the first-round match before withdrawing with an Achilles injury ahead of the clash with Tsvetlana Pironkova, finishing her season and hoping for a good run in 2021.
Jim Courier backs Roger Federer and Serena Williams to make another push in 2021.
On the other side, Roger Federer played only one tournament in the season behind us, reaching the Australian Open semi-final before undergoing knee surgery in February.
Federer had planned to return in June for Halle and Wimbledon, although the pain didn't want to go away, requiring another surgery in May. The tennis season resumed in August, but the great Swiss wasn't there to compete, deciding to close the year and work hard on a fresh start in 2021.
If Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government find the solution and give a green light for the Australian Open, Roger should be in contention. At 39, he still feels eager to make another push and challenge the rivals from the top on the biggest stages.
"I would be surprised if Roger Federer doesn't make a Major semi-final in 2021 if he is healthy. If Roger and Serena Williams can have the good serve percentage and they still have power in their forehands, they are still going to be very tough to beat," Jim Courier said.