Serena’s Ankle The Main Discussion Point After Day Two

Jan 15, 2013

Although we have already seen several seeded players beaten in both the men’s and women’s singles draw at the 2013 Australian Open, the main discussion point after two days of competition is surely the state and condition of Serena Williams right ankle, the five time Australian Open champion was the warm favourite in the women’s singles heading into the first major event of the year but her ankle injury will now have the other main contenders in the women’s draw keeping one eye on her progress with plenty of interest, even after she rolled her ankle and had it strapped Williams was still far too good for Edina Gallovits-Hall in round one with the hapless Romanian being double bageled 6-0, 6-0.

The main question now is whether or not Serena’s ankle will allow her to be fit enough to go all the way and claim a record 6th Australian Open championship, the third seeded American rolled her right ankle at 4-0 up in the first set against Gallovits-Hall, but after a delay, assessment and some strapping she raced through the match without dropping a single game, it will be interesting to see how the 31 year old performs in her second round match on day four against relative unknown Garbine Muguruza, even with an injured ankle Williams would be expected to comfortably account for the 112th ranked Spaniard.

What will be of greater interest to tennis fans and media alike is how Serena fares once she faces a more experienced and potentially tougher opponent deeper in the tournament, the first seeded player she is likely to meet will probably be in the fourth round against either Maria Kirilenko (14th seed) or Yanina Wickmayer (seeded 20), Williams would still be favoured to win that battle I feel which would keep her on course for a probable quarterfinal showdown against either 8th seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens or Lucie Safarova, if successful there then Serena is seeded to meet defending women’s champion Victoria Azarenka in the semifinal, if her ankle hasn’t been tested up to that point then surely it will get a decent fitness test in a Grand Slam semifinal.

Often the fans and media are kept in the dark as to just how bad injuries are when they occur to a star player early in the tournament, it will be interesting to see what spin, if any, is put on the injury by the Williams camp as the tournament progresses, it may well be that the injury is not overly serious and Serena will continue to charge her way through the draw but then again it could end up being more serious than the Williams camp lets on too, the best indication of her fitness will come from watching Serena’s court movement in her next few matches, the real acid test on her right ankle however may not eventuate until the quarterfinals onwards, by then we should have a fair idea of whether or not Serena will have a decent shot at yet another AO title.

Written by: Tono

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