Serena Williams Kicks Off Her French Open 2021 Preparations With Former ATP Star and Varvara Lepchenko

Published 04/21/2021, 2:32 AM EDT
Serena Williams of the United States in action against Kristie Ahn of the United States in the first round of the Women’s Singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on September 28th 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is yet to begin her personal clay-court season. But her preparations have now started for the clay-court finale, the French Open, which will start on May 30.

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Interestingly, two special guests also joined the American for her training sessions on green clay – former World No. 65 Pere Riba and Serena’s compatriot Varvara Lepchenko.

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There has been no official statement on their training collaboration so far. Even so, the photos highlighted the fruitfulness of their practice session.

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Serena Williams prepares for the clay-court swing

The 39-year-old Serena Williams looked solid right from the beginning of the 2021 season. However, a heart-breaking loss against Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinal put her season on hold.

Now, the three-time French Open champion will look forward to competing at the Roland Garros. But before that, she will need enough match-time to survive the two strenuous weeks in Paris.

Thus, similar to the 2019 season, Williams might play the Italian Open in Rome since she has already denied her participation in Madrid Open, citing personal reasons.

Also, the last time the tennis queen played on clay was at the 2020 French Open. Unfortunately, Serena withdrew from the tournament and from the rest of the season due to an Achilles’ injury.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Similarly, Serena had also withdrawn when playing against elder sister and seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams, in the 2019 Italian Open second round. This was due to the pain in her left knee.

Now, the four-time Olympic gold medallist looks fit and motivated to regain success on clay. The WTA 1000 Italian Open will start on May 9, 2021.

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What are Serena’s chances at the French Open 2021?

Fitness is the only obstacle in Serena’s way to clinch her long-awaited 24th Grand Slam title. For any 39-year-old, consistently toiling on a clay court for two weeks would seem preposterous. However, if anyone can surprise the tennis world again, it would undoubtedly be the tennis queen.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Moreover, stopping now is not a choice she would make. Therefore, she has picked up her racquet yet again and began her preparations on clay.

Hopefully, fans will get to see more of Serena on clay this year. The preparations on clay will also put her in great shape for the Wimbledon. Do you think Serena will win her #24 this year?

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Purav Joshi

686 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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