‘Recluse’ Serena ready for US Open after lockdown

"I don't have full lung capacity so I'm not sure what would happen to me", she cautioned.

As she prepares to resume her season in Lexington, Serena Williams talks about the new normal and avoiding too many plans.

"I see myself doing it all, if it happens", she said.

"I thought about what those dollars could do for a community that has clearly suffered for far too long, and that I with my power and my influence and my privilege want to do something meaningful to start to show a change".

"I have like 50 masks that I travel with, I don't ever want to be without one. Yeah, it's cool to play tennis, but this is my life and this is my health, so I've been a little neurotic to an extent, but that's just what I have to be right now". "But like I said I'm not planning for the future, I learned that, like as tournaments got cancelled, I was like 'Alright, let me just work on today and focus on today and see what happens'".


The WTA's first event in the United States since March features a spectator-free field that includes sister Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam victor herself, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and rising star Coco Gauff.

World number two Simona Halep is also not expected to play in the tournament, which will be held behind closed doors, while defending champion Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn from the men's event. The biggest difference is that it wasn't just from me being injured. "This is God-given, thank you very much to my mom", she said, kissing her bicep. We built a tennis court and gym, it is super cool. The tournament was added to the WTA schedule in July as a replacement for the Citi Open, a WTA International tournament usually held in Washington, D.C. It is the first WTA tournament hosted in Kentucky.

During the lockdown, separated from her coaching staff and phsyios, the 38-year-old resorted to building her own tennis court and gym. Williams had to make some adjustments, such as finding new physiotherapists to replace her Europe-based associates, but she was able to hit while maintaining proper social distance from her partner and could work out on equipment she and her husband are collecting to stock a home workout facility. "Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court". It's like, 'Why haven't I done this 20 years ago?'. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty. "It's cool because it got me out of the house, I get to drive to it and get a little physical separation".

Her live-for-now mantra came into play when she was asked if she still plans to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until 2021. "Sports is one of the things that can provide a breath of fresh air".

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