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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, August 10, 2020
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Serena ready to play in US Open

 

Serena Williams said Saturday she is pressing ahead with plans to play in the US Open despite a wave of player withdrawals from the upcoming Grand Slam event over coronavirus fears.

The 23-time Slam winner returns to tennis next week at the inaugural Top Seed Open WTA event in Lexington, Kentucky, relaunching her season after a six-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Williams, who was one of the first players to commit to the US Open despite the pandemic, said her plans remain unchanged, adding that she was tentatively planning to go to Europe for the rescheduled French Open.

"I see myself doing it all if it happens," Williams said when asked about her schedule during a virtual press conference.

"But I am not planning for the future, as tournaments got cancelled I was just like, 'Let me just work on today and see what happens.'"

The former world number one said she has spent the past six months at her home in Florida, sheltering from the threat of the coronavirus.

Williams has a history of pulmonary embolisms which have restricted her lung capacity, a factor which she said had prompted her to be a "little bit of a recluse" this year.

Williams revealed that she had been practicing on her own court, built with the same hardcout surface used at the US Open. She has also stayed fit with construction of a home gym.

Williams, who is also scheduled to play the Western and Southern Open tune-up event in New York before the US Open, admitted that only tournament play would allow her to properly gauge her fitness.

Williams, who turns 39 in September, meanwhile said she was unable to say whether she would be at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in 2021.*AFP

 

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