Serena Williams undecided over playing at the Olympics

The 39-year-old is the joint most successful Olympian in tennis history alongside sister Venus having won one gold medal in singles and three in doubles

Eleanor Crooks
Monday 10 May 2021 12:50
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Serena Williams has yet to decide whether to play in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The 39-year-old is the joint most successful Olympian in tennis history alongside sister Venus having won one gold medal in singles and three in doubles.

But the decision not to allow international visitors to the Games, including family members of athletes, could result in Williams - whose daughter Olympia is three - choosing not to take part.

“I haven’t really thought much about that,” she said. “That’s a really good question. I haven’t spent 24 hours without her, so that kind of answers the question itself. We’re best friends. I have really been taking it one day at a time to a fault, and I definitely need to figure out my next moves.”

Williams, though, has no complaints about being compelled to stay in a hotel in the centre of London for Wimbledon rather than in a private house near to the All England Club.

She said: “I feel like it will be a good experience still. Thank goodness that I have experienced it before so I can kind of be ready for it. It’s definitely going to be different staying in the city. It’s going to be really nice, for one, but then it will be like, ‘Oh, I have to leave an hour in advance instead of five minutes’, so that will be really different.”

Williams returns to action for the first time since losing in the semi-finals of the Australian Open at this week’s Italian Open in Rome.

This will be the world number eight’s only tournament before the French Open later this month but she expects to be ready for her latest bid to claim a record-equalling 24th slam singles title.

She said: “I trained for the past two and a half weeks at (coach) Patrick (Mouratoglou’s) academy, and then training a lot on the clay in the United States with team members. We had an intense several weeks of training, very intense.

“I feel good. I’m in Rome. I’m going to have some good matches here, hopefully, and then I will be at another grand slam, which always makes me excited. So I think either way I’ll be ready.”

Williams will play either Germany’s Laura Siegemund or French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska in her first match.

PA

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