Serena Williams is the GOAT, and almost no one would disagree. But even the greats sometimes experience setbacks.
This weekend, the U.S. Open tournament came to a close, and Williams was, unfortunately, unable clinch what would have been her 24th championship. A win at this Grand Slam would have allowed Williams to match the current record for most championship titles held by Margaret Court, but Williams lost to Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu in two sets, 6-3, 7-5.
As for what happened, Williams explained at a press conference that she simply did not play her best.
“I was just thinking, wow, this is terrible. You just gotta play better. I have to do better. I just couldn’t go down like that,” she said. “I honestly didn’t play my best today and I could have played better. That’s the only solace that I can take right now.”
Indeed, Williams experienced much trouble in her match against Andreescu. She made a total of 33 unforced errors, double-faulted on break points three times to lose her serve, and put only 44% of her first serves in play. That was by far her lowest percentage at this Open.
Perhaps one reason that Williams didn’t play her best was because she is still technically on her comeback tour since taking a break after having baby Olympia with her husband, Alexis Ohanian. The fact that Williams did not win might just suggest that she needs more time. After all, Williams’ birthing process was traumatic on her body. Coming back so soon is another testament to how great of a player she is.
While Williams’ legacy is set in stone no matter what her future performances hold, Andreescu appears to also have a bright future ahead of her. This was her first appearance at the U.S. Open and she not only clenched her first Grand Slam title ever, but also brought home Canada’s first Grand Slam title in history, The New York Times reports.