Serena Williams is striving to win one Grand Slam finals since the time she came back to professional tennis after her maternity layover. She has participated in the seven Grand Slams after becoming a mother and reached four major finals. However, her quest for the 24th major title is still not over as she has been receiving straight-set defeats in all four major finals.
What went wrong during Wimbledon 2018 finals:
Before reaching the finals at Wimbledon 2018, the American just dropped a set in the SW19 event, and then set up a championship match against, Angelique Kerber. She was ranked World Number 181 in the tournament.
Her body was not optimally fit to play a Wimbledon final match against a multiple-time Grand Slam champion. The final match was just ten months after the birth of her daughter.
During that match, Serena had poor control of her second serves. She had 23 winners to 24 unforced errors. On that day, Kerber was the ‘Novak Djokovic’ of the women’s game. Her accuracy with the returns was impeccable and she relentlessly blazed out winners from the baseline. She committed just seven unforced errors in the match.
Despite, her first serve is a strong weapon, Williams had a poor consistency on her second services. In the opening set, her serve percentage was hardly 15 percent. Her net game dropped in the Wimbledon final. She served and volleyed twice in the final and was successful at it. Also, her cross-court backhand was her strength and other shots were not up to her standards.
What went wrong during US Open 2018 finals:
Despite her poor performances in the WTA events of North American series, Williams breezed into the US Open finals just by dropping a set. Her title match against Naomi Osaka is known as the tirade-Slam final. As Williams was given a series of code violations and ranted with the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos.
During that match, Serena’s returns were deficient, she failed to convert break points and her unforced errors did not diminish. Serena delivered poor returns on Naomi’s first serves. She just won 11 points out of 40 on Naomi’s first serves and the average rally length was about 3.2 shots.
Williams had a decent net game (she won 75 percent of the points) and produced cross-court forehand winners. Evidently, mentally she was disturbed during that final all due to the quarrel with the chair umpire and she was given multiple penalities.
What went wrong during Wimbledon 2019 finals:
At Wimbledon 2019, Serena Williams did not have enough time to prepare for the tournament. She was plagued with injuries throughout the first half of the season. After her defeat at Australian Open 2019, Williams just completed the French Open 2019 event.
She felt that she made a mistake by making an appearance at Roland-Garros, which consequently hindered her preparation for Wimbledon 2019.
At Wimbledon finals against Simona Halep, the Romanian star outplayed the seven-time Wimbledon champion, Williams. Halep did not allow Serena to ascend in the entire match. Simona just committed three unforced errors and within 56 minutes, the Romanian had the Rosewater Dish in hand.
Serena’s second serve percentage was similar to that of US Open 2018 finals. Halep had a great command on her first serves and allowed Serena to win just six points. The American recorded her poorest return percentage in the Wimbledon 2019 finals and she won just 26 percent of her return points. The Romanian shortened the rally lengths and was quick with the points.
Serena’s net game drastically dropped at Wimbledon 2019 finals. Her cross-court shots were falling in place, but her shots in the other directions were erratic.
What went wrong during US Open 2019 finals:
In her latest Grand Slam final match at US Open 2019, Serena was determined to capture her 24th Slam and she was fully prepared for the Flushing Meadows major. However, the teenage wave from Canada withered away her reverie. Williams committed errors at crucial instants.
She gave Bianca Andreescu the opening break lead by committing consecutive double faults and later double-faulted on the first set point. Serena’s first-serve percentage of 44 shocked the tennis world. Her second percentage continued to be substandard at US Open 2019 finals. Serena’s eight double faults in the title match led her nowhere.
Her winners were less than the unforced errors was which she had committed. Serena could win 30 out 68 points on Andreescu’s serve, which illustrates her imperfect return game.
Serena was not moving on the court up to her standards and Andreescu had all exploited it by blistering forehand and backhand winners. However, the American’s net game was phenomenal in the final match.
What does Serena need to do to win a Slam final?
The 23-time Grand Slam, Serena Williams has been in close vicinity to her 24th Slam. However, with misfortunes revolving around the American has been failing to seize the final two sets of the major tournament over the last two years.
By analyzing all the Slam final slumps of Serena Williams, first of all, she needs to work upon her serve to begin the point. Although she comes up with more number of aces than her opponent, her first-serve percentage and first-serve win percentage have been utterly low. Her second-serve percentage has also been awful throughout.
In all the four major finals, Serena has had an upper hand on double faults against her opponents. Without any control over her serves, Serena cannot really win a Grand Slam final.
Barring the US Open 2019 finals, Williams’ has won less than 40 percent of her return points in her past four Slam finals. During US Open 2019 finals, it was 44. This is the domain where needs to endeavor, it would simultaneously aid her to enhance her break point conversion rates (which have also been substandard) and further govern the match.
Serena’s cross-court shots from the baseline have been dominating, but her down the line, inside out and inside in shots have pulled her down. Figuratively, she has won an average of 20 percent of points from the shots in the direction other than cross-court. She needs to improve upon her groundstroke precision in diverse directions.
Her Unforced errors have always been outnumbering her winners, Serena Williams has to look into the accuracy of her shots.
Williams’ net game could be one of her strengths but, her consistency on the net fluctuates from match to match. Stabilizing her net game would aid her to earn her some points.
The average rally length in all four major final matches has been less than 4 and Williams has been losing her points quickly after they begin. Her body is as agile as it should be and her footwork has also been inferior.
This year, Serena Williams has just completed all the four Grand Slams, apart from that she hasn’t completed any of the WTA Premier Five or Premier tournaments. She withdrew from all of them due to her on-going injuries.
Showing up frequently on the WTA courts other than Slams will provide her match practice against a diversified set of opponents.
An altercation with Chair Umpire/Linesmen:
In the past, Serena Williams has lost major matches after indulging in squabble with the umpires. Maintaining a distance with that would help her to concentrate better during matches.
It’s the first time since US Open 1999 (when she pulled off her maiden major title), Serena will be concluding the two consecutive years without a Slam. Serena Williams is yet to win a set in the Grand Slam finals as a mother. The tennis marvel is the most consistent player on the WTA Tour, but each time she falls short by two sets to reach her 24th Slam.