‘Won’t Happen’: Justine Henin Gives Stern Verdict on Serena Williams’ 24th Grand Slam

Published 12/16/2021, 2:02 PM EST


Over the past four years, Serena Williams has been in a hunt to win her 24th Grand Slam title. The American reached the finals at several slams since then but went on to lose them against players like Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, and Bianca Andreescu.

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Even this year, Serena managed to reach the semis at the Australian Open before Osaka took her down in the final four. In both the French Open and Wimbledon, the American couldn’t live up to the expectations.

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At SW19, Serena faced an unfortunate slip that forced her retire from the tournament. Post Wimbledon debacle, the American didn’t comeback on tour again and recently announced her decision to skip next year’s Australian Open as well.

Justine Henin talks about Serena Williams’ chances to clinch 24th Grand Slam title

Amidst the uncertainty regarding Serena’s chances of winning the 24th slam, former world no.1 Justine Henin opened up about her chances.

“The young players are starting to fear Serena Williams less. We were afraid of Serena in my era. And a lot of girls continued to be afraid of her for years. Now it’s just not the case anymore and certainly she feels it”, Henin told Eurosport.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich Pool via REUTERS/Jed Leicester

Watch this story: Five Major Life Lessons We Can Learn From Tennis Star Serena Williams

Henin also focused on Serena’s on-court attitude when faced with adversity.

You can feel that her attitude on court has changed. There is less self-belief, there is less confidence and potentially, we can ask, is there still the same drive, the same desire?”. 

The Belgian tennis icon believes that Serena is beginning to see glimpses of life after tennis and how beautiful it can be.

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Serena has been spending quality time with family during her time off the court

And maybe she’s at that point. Maybe she’s in that phase of her life where maybe it’s potentially time to move on. I’m starting to have to be convinced, that the quest that she had set herself to go and win more Grand Slams, at least one Grand Slam, won’t happen”. 

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Irrespective of her the duration of her off season, it’s safe to say that Serena Williams is the one of the best competitors the sport has ever seen. Henin makes a valid point in saying that the younger generation doesn’t fear facing Serena anymore and that could be a decisive factor in her quest for the 24th Grand Slam title.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Tabloid Stuff’: Rick Macci Rubbishes Rumors Around His Relationship with Richard, Venus and Serena Williams

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Sagar Ashtakoula

729 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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