Over the next two weeks, the first serve series will be previewing our top male and female players and top returnees as we build up to the first grand slam of the year. We’ll analyze what they’ve got going for them and what they need to do to be successful in 2018.
Can Venus Williams win a grand slam at the age of 37? That is one of the million dollar questions of 2018. There’s a good reason for this question. In 2017, Venus Williams made a strong comeback to the top of the women’s game, making two grand slam finals and one semifinal in three out of the four slams. She always lost to the eventual champion. Essentially, in three out of four slams, only one player was better than her and if you look at the list of those players and how they played on the day, deservedly so. But that also means all Venus needs to do is go one better in the slams this season. It is easier said than done.
Making a case for why Venus Williams will or won’t have a strong season, is also easier said than done. Venus Williams is one of the pioneers of the modern power game we see dominate women’s tennis today and she is one of its greatest exponents. Age may not allow her to play at her best level consistently enough, but if she picks her battles, she just might be able to put together one or two grand slam runs this season. She still has all the shotmaking ability, serving chops and that wonderful wingspan that has helped her win five Wimbledon shields.
Speaking of Wimbledon, I still see it as the best opportunity she has to add to her grand slam tally. She was in imperious form throughout the tournament until she ran into a ruthless contender in Garbine Muguruza in last year’s final.
I believe she can win one more slam before she hangs up her racket.