US Open: Serena Williams has made smart coach choice for career finale, says Chris Evert

By Sports Desk August 26, 2022

Serena Williams has made a wise move by asking Rennae Stubbs to help her prepare for a farewell US Open appearance, Chris Evert said on Friday.

Ahead of her 21st singles appearance at Flushing Meadows, Williams has brought in former doubles world number one Stubbs, and has been working closely on court with the Australian.

Stubbs has experience of coaching the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Eugenie Bouchard and Samantha Stosur, and the 51-year-old won six grand slam doubles titles, so knows all about performing on the big stage.

Her fresh input could prove invaluable, Evert believes, with Williams no longer having her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou in her corner. He now coaches Simona Halep.

Ahead of Williams' last event before retirement, Evert told ESPN: "I know she's been practising hard for this tournament.

"She has Rennae Stubbs helping her which is a positive thing. Rennae encouraged her to play matches against other women to get a taste of how other women play, because before she was just playing with her coach and not really moving a lot in practice, just hitting a lot of balls that were coming right to her.

"What I think she needs to work on more is playing the other women, knowing their game, moving corner to corner and getting that moving going. That's the only thing that's really preventing her from getting that A or B game at this point."

Williams begins her campaign on Monday against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, the world number 80 who beat reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu at this year's Australian Open.

Evert is the only woman in the Open Era (since 1968) to have reached more grand slam singles finals than Williams, one ahead of her fellow American after embarking on 34 runs to title matches.

However, Evert lost 16 of her finals, whereas Williams has been beaten only 10 times in 33 such matches.

The 40-year-old Williams therefore has 23 grand slam singles titles, putting her one short of the all-time record held by Margaret Court, but top of the Open Era list.

Evert does not believe Williams will be turning up purely to say goodbye.

"This is a big tournament for Serena Williams and this is an opportunity for people to really get one last look at her, and that's why everyone's trying to buy a ticket for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night," Evert said.

"She's transcended tennis, she's revolutionised tennis with her power game. But also off the court, her fearlessness and ability to just say whatever she wanted to say, not caring what people thought, her honesty, where she came from and how she's dealt with that.

"I feel she has so many different platforms where she's helped women: women who work who have children, women of colour. I can't say enough about the influence she's had on people."

It remains to be seen whether Venus Williams will follow Serena into retirement after the upcoming slam in New York, but few would be surprised.

At the age of 42, seven-time grand slam singles winner Venus would also deserve a rapturous send-off.

"Venus gets overshadowed by little sis," said Evert. "But Venus on her own has established, accomplished so much, won so many grand slams, singles and doubles, and handled this whole sister thing with grace."

Related items

  • French Open day 12: Karolina Muchova reaches first grand slam final after upset French Open day 12: Karolina Muchova reaches first grand slam final after upset

    Karolina Muchova produced one of the shocks of the French Open by upsetting Aryna Sabalenka to reach her first grand slam final.

    Muchova came from 5-2 down in the final set, saving a match point, to win 7-6 (5) 6-7 (5) 7-5 and will take on defending champion Iga Swiatek, who survived her first test, beating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 7-6 (7).

    Miyu Kato found Paris redemption in the mixed doubles, winning the title with German Tim Puetz after her disqualification from the women’s doubles.

    Picture of the dayStat of the dayTweet of the dayQuote of the dayWho’s up next?

    The men’s finalists will be decided at Roland Garros on Friday.

    The blockbuster match comes first up when world number one Carlos Alcaraz meets Novak Djokovic for only the second time in a generational clash for supremacy in the men’s game.

    The second encounter, meanwhile, sees Casper Ruud trying to make a second final in two years against Alexander Zverev, whose semi-final here last year against Rafael Nadal ended with him leaving the court in a wheelchair.

  • Top seed Dan Evans suffers shock second-round exit at Surbiton Top seed Dan Evans suffers shock second-round exit at Surbiton

    Andy Murray is the only British man left in singles at the Lexus Surbiton Trophy after Dan Evans suffered a shock second-round loss.

    Evans was the top seed after taking a late wild card following his early French Open defeat but was toppled 7-5 6-2 by 21-year-old Canadian Gabriel Diallo, ranked more than 100 places below him.

    It has been a difficult season so far for 33-year-old Evans, who will hope to fare better in Nottingham next week, where he is the defending champion.

    There is a lot more home representation in the women’s draw, where Katie Boulter needs one more victory to overtake Emma Raducanu as British number one.

    The eighth seed battled to a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over countrywoman Sonay Kartal to reach the quarter-finals, where she will face Swiss Viktorija Golubic.

    Boulter was joined in the last eight by Isabelle Lacy, Katie Swan and Yuriko Miyazaki.

    Sixteen-year-old Lacy was given a walkover by American Sachia Vickery and will play Miyazaki, who defeated compatriot Eden Silva, while Swan was 5-3 up on Oceane Dodin when the Frenchwoman retired.

    Harriet Dart was close to joining them but lost a tight tussle 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-4 to top seed and last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria, who next plays Swan.

  • Shoulder injury rules Jack Draper out of Wimbledon Shoulder injury rules Jack Draper out of Wimbledon

    Jack Draper will miss Wimbledon with the shoulder injury he suffered at the French Open last week.

    It is a huge blow to the 21-year-old, whose progress has been disrupted by a series of injuries.

    The latest came in practice ahead of his first-round clash at Roland Garros last Monday against Tomas Etcheverry, with Draper forced to serve underarm before calling it a day after only one game of the second set.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Jack Draper (@jackdraper)


    While hugely disappointed that his body had again let him down, Draper was optimistic the problem with his left shoulder would not disrupt his grass-court campaign too much.

    However, having had a scan and seen a specialist, Draper has decided to miss the whole of the British summer season.

    Draper wrote on Instagram: “It’s clear my shoulder is going to need time and rehab to get back to where it needs to be. My team and I have made the difficult decision to miss the grass court season this year.

    “I guess in this sport there are so many ups and downs but this one is tough to take. The only thing for sure is that I will keep persevering.”

    He is optimistic he will not need surgery and is hoping to return to the match court in mid to late July.

    When he has been fit, Draper has shown he has the potential to be among the best in the world but that has not been nearly as often as he would have liked.

    Last season a promising run to the third round of the US Open was ended by a leg injury and, after illness disrupted his pre-season, Draper has already missed large chunks of this year with hip and abdominal problems.

    In Paris last week the Londoner said he felt “mentally destroyed”, adding: “I hate being the guy who is injured a lot.”

    Draper made his Wimbledon debut in 2021, losing to Novak Djokovic, while last year he pushed Alex De Minaur to four sets in the second round.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.