Serena Williams claimed the 23rd Major crown at the Australian Open 2017, moving one behind Margaret Court. The great American took a break from tennis, gave berth to a child later that year and returned to action in 2018. Eager to get back where she belongs, Williams reached four Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019, losing them all and failing to match Court's record of 24 Majors.
Twenty-two years after cracking the top-10 for the first time as a teenager, the American is still ranked among the world's best players, achieving everything and still battling hard to lift that elusive 24th Major crown.
Still, Williams has been dealing with numerous injuries in the last couple of years, as her body failed to follow the will and desire that she still possesses. Tim Henman can not see Serena winning the upcoming US Open or any other Major at the moment, understanding the field is too strong for her to go all the way.
As many times in the last couple of years, Serena had not competed at the pre-US Open events, and Henman can not see her lifting the trophy in that situation. Following last year's Roland Garros injury, Williams recovered for the Australian Open and chased the eighth Melbourne crown this February.
Delivering her best tennis since returning in 2018, Serena defeated five rivals to reach the semis, including notable top-7 victories over Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep! Setting eyes on the trophy, Williams faced Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster clash and suffered a tough 6-3, 6-4 loss.
Serena made too many unforced errors against the young Japanese, wasted an early lead in the opener and fell short after staying in touch in the second set's opening eight games. With those points, Williams returned into the top-10 for the first time since November, hoping for more chances at Majors this year.
Tim Henman can not see Serena Williams as the US Open champion.
Serena turns 40 in September, and she still competes with the same desire, giving her 100% in every match and standing as a role model for the upcoming youngsters.
The American trained with Grigor Dimitrov in Miami in March before withdrawing from one of her favorite events due to oral surgery. Competing in Rome and Parma on clay in back-to-back weeks in May, the American suffered early exits before scoring three wins at Roland Garros to enter the last 16.
Elena Rybakina proved to be too strong, and Serena switched focus to Wimbledon. In another setback, Williams retired in the opening round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after only six completed games, not playing since and hoping for a fresh start in New York.
"Heading to New York, a big question mark is around Serena's fitness. As has been the case with Roger Federer, she's not getting any younger. So, whereas I probably had that belief at the beginning of the year, I think it's a step too far now.
When you look at it, there's a long list of other great female players. The standard, the quality, the athletic ability of so many of them are just so high, and I think the strength and depth of the women's game is better than it's ever been.
You know Serena can absolutely still contend if she's fit, but I do not think she can win another Major singles title right now. She is experienced enough to know that matchplay and match fitness are essential. You can practice and train and do all that work as much as you like, but there's no substitute for tournament time and match competition.
Serena would love to be playing a few events in the lead-up to the Majors in an ideal world, but that just has not been possible because of injuries," Serena Williams said.