Despite being dubbed the biggest favorite for winning the 2020 Australian Open, Serena Williams was stopped in Round 3 by Qiang Wang. The defeat means that the American will have to wait a while longer to try to equal Margaret Court’s record.
The record Serena is after is 24 Grand Slam titles, set by the legendary Australian player back in the 1970s. She’s currently only one title shy of tying the record, something which she still has a chance to achieve this year.
There are three more Grand Slam tournaments left in 2020, starting with the French Open which starts on Sunday, May 24.
Next Stop: 2020 French Open
At the moment of writing, Serena is the fifth favorite for winning the French Open, behind Simona Halep, Ash Barty, Kiki Bertens, and Bianca Vanessa Andreescu.
The sportsbook odds on Serena are currently somewhere in the ballpark of +900, but the history has thought us that anything can happen when tennis betting is concerned.
One of the reasons why she’s not thought of as the main contender for the French Open trophy is that she hasn’t been too successful at this tournament. She’s won “only” three French Open trophies so far, the last of which happened five years ago.
We say “only” because Serena has been much more successful at the other three Grand Slams. She’s won seven Wimbledon titles, the same number that she won at the Australian Open, while also collecting six titles at the US Open.
Another reason why Serena is not seen as the top title favorite is that her recent form hasn’t been that impressive. She did win the Auckland Classic at the start of the year, but just a few weeks later, she got eliminated from the first Grand Slam of 2020 in third round.
Speaking of her form at Grand Slams, she’s without a title since 2017, when she beat her sister Venus in the final of the Australian Open.
When’s the Time to Retire?
Born on September 26, 1981, Serena is 38 at the moment of writing. That makes her the second-oldest player in WTA Top 100, just behind her sister Venus who is 39. An interesting fact is that the very oldest player in the WTA Rankings, Greta Arn is just two years older than Serena.
Margaret Court, whose record of 24 Grand Slam titles Serena Williams is looking to equal (or even break) this year, finished her tennis career at the age of 34. She did it after learning she was pregnant with her fourth child.
Serena Williams also had to withdraw from tennis for a while for the same reason, but unlike Margaret Court, she did come back. After giving birth to her daughter Olympia in September 2017, she took a break from tennis for a couple of months before returning to the court in March 2018.
Despite giving birth fairly recently, Serena looks very fit. Her body definitely seems capable of pushing through a few more years, as evident from her performances at the Auckland Classic, as well as the 2020 Australian Open.
The 38-year-old did get knocked out in Melbourne by Qiang Wang who’s 10 years her junior, but the defeat wasn’t due to Serena’s fitness problems. On the contrary, the American player looked very energetic in that game; her mistakes are what cost her the match. With a little bit more focus, she’s likely to do much better the next time.
So, to answer the question from the beginning – can Serena Williams break Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slams – yes, she can!