The 23-time Major winner Serena Williams will finish the season ranked outside the top-40 for the first time since 2006! The American veteran played only six tournaments in 2021, struggling with injuries and finishing the season after she tore her hamstring in the Wimbledon first round.
Serena had to skip the home Major in New York, saying she gave her best to recover in time for the US Open, which turned to be the mission impossible. Eager to get back at 100%, Williams stayed away from the Tour and will return at the beginning of 2022.
Williams claimed the 23rd Major crown at the Australian Open 2017 and moved one behind Margaret Court, the all-time leader. The great American took a break from tennis to give berth to a child later that year, returning to action in the spring of 2018 and instantly finding her form.
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. Serena has been dealing with numerous injuries in the past couple of years to make things even more challenging, as her body has failed to follow the will and desire for competition.
Following the 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 victories over Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep!
Serena Williams gave her best to get ready for the US Open, which was not possible.
Setting eyes on the trophy, Williams faced Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster clash and suffered a tough 6-3, 6-4 defeat. Serena wasted an early lead in the opener and fell short after staying in touch until 4-4 in the second.
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 her beloved Wimbledon.
In another setback, Williams retired in the opening round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after only six completed games due to an injury, not playing since then and hoping for a fresh start in 2022. "It was really sad to miss the US Open.
I had the most awesome outfit too. I put in extra effort to try to make it, but it did not work out," Serena Williams said.