QUEENS — Everyone is talking about Serena Williams possibly making history this year at the U.S. Open, with the distinct chance she will clinch four slams in a single year.
They’re also talking about her personal life after she was recently photographed in a romantic clinch with hip-hop star, Drake. But Serena was missing from the U.S. Open Media Day on Saturday, even as many of the top male and female tennis stars were asked about the buzz surrounding her professional quest.
“In many ways, it’s a huge bonus for her to be in this position,” said Russian star, Maria Sharapova. “She’s formed so many great moments and victories in New York, and being back for such a special occasion will make it a great story,” Sharapova added. Sharapova, who is coming back from injuries, remarked “you could safely say” Williams has a great chance to take it all.
The top prize for both the female and male winners is $3.3 million.
Novak Djokovic, who’s ranked the #1 seed for the men in the tournament, told reporters he will also be watching as Williams seeks to achieve her milestone.
“I am sending her good vibes,” Djokovic said. “I hope she does it. She’s a true champion and she’s impressive what she’s managed to do so far at her age to win three Grand Slams. It’s quite incredible.”
Williams, who will turn 34 in September, had an infamous outburst during the 2009 U.S. Open semi-final against Kim Clijsters, when she talked about shoving a tennis ball down a line judge’s throat, because she was upset about a call. When Williams was penalized a point, the match went to Clijsters.
Williams returned to triumph at the U.S. Open in later years, and she returns in 2015, poised, she hopes to make history.
Saturday was Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, and thousands of young tennis enthusiasts jammed into the National Tennis Center’s largest stadium to see some of their idols up close.
The United States Tennis Association is currently building a huge, retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium, after several years of major, schedule delays at previous Opens, because of bad weather. The structure should be completed in time for the 2016 U.S. Open.