How Does Serena Williams Retirement Announcement Affect U.S. Open Odds?
Serena Williams, one of the most decorated players in the history of tennis, announced in a Vogue cover story she is planning to retire from the sport following the U.S. Open later this month.
Williams mentioned she rather not use the word “retire” and is looking towards her future as more of an “evolution” as she transitions into a post-playing career.
“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she told Vogue. “A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."
One of the more revealing parts of the Vogue letter was Williams highlighting her chase of Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam championships and the near misses she’s had. Williams is second with 23 and can still tie Court with a title at the U.S. Open.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I do,” Williams said. “But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help.
“The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I sent from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually, it’s extraordinary.”
Williams didn’t explicitly say she will retire exactly after the U.S. Open, but the timing was implied in her Instagram post sharing her Vogue story, saying, “I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.” Williams is currently competing in the WTA tournament in Montreal where she earned a first-round victory over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz (6-3, 6-4) on Monday for her first singles win in over a year.
Williams' Odds for U.S. Open
One impressive aspect of Williams’ career has been her longevity. According to ESPN Stats and Information, since turning 30 she has won 10 grand slam titles – the most for any other woman in the Open Era (since 1968). The next four on the list have combined to win 10.
But a grand slam title at this year’s U.S. Open would be a storybook ending and one of the most memorable championships of her career. Williams is currently +1600 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the U.S. Open.
Given her age and the time off from the sport, conditioning and whether her body can hold up while making a deep tournament run will be legitimate concerns. Williams lost a three-set first-round matchup to Harmony Tan at Wimbledon in July as her form fluctuated throughout the match.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year,” Williams said to Vogue. “And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.”
Williams’ second-round matchup in Toronto will take place on Tuesday. She will play the winner of Belinda Bencic and Tereza Martincova.
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