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Serena Williams should store strength for further Grand Slam glory in 2017

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | September 14, 2016

Serena Williams tips: Is more major success possible?

It shows the exalted standards Serena Williams sets herself when finishing a tennis season with only one Grand Slam is considered a poor campaign.

Turning 35 before the end-of-year WTA Tour Finals, 2016 has believe it or not been a so-nearly story for the American, and she has also lost the world number one ranking. Serena still heads all the 2017 Grand Slam betting with Coral.

Although levelling Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 Slam singles titles this term, Williams’ powers appear to be waning as she scooped just a single tennis major this term for the second time in five years. She is more accustomed to winning two or three each season – a feat incredibly achieved in seven of the last 15 campaigns since 2002.

Record-breaking the motivation

Serena shall be desperate to set a new outright mark and still harbours hopes of surpassing Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 individual Grand Slam successes, but all signs suggest this is getting harder.

Recent defeats at her home Slam, the US Open, probably hurt the most. On paper, there was no way unseeded Roberta Vinci in the 2015 semis, nor Karolina Pliskova at the same stage this season, should’ve beaten one of the greats of women’s tennis.

Serena Williams still counts among top tennis tips as the 2017 Grand Slam betting shows,

Serena Williams still counts among top tennis tips as the 2017 Grand Slam betting shows,

Yet they did, and Williams was also bested in 2016 Australian and French Open finals by Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza respectively.

2017 Grand Slam suggests Serena shall come again

Wimbledon was compensation for Serena, with grass clearly still the surface that best showcases and suits her game; raw power, battering ram tennis. This is reflected in her odds to retain her Grass Grand Slam crown in 2017 with Coral making Williams the 11/8 favourite in the betting.

She must look on enviously at Germany’s new WTA world number one Kerber, who holds both Slams on hard courts, and that begs the question is the balance of power finally shifting?

Venus and Serena Williams have dominated women's tennis for almost 20 years.

Venus and Serena Williams have dominated women’s tennis for almost 20 years.

No dynasty can last forever, but it seems the long hoped for more open feel of women’s tennis has already arrived before the Williams sisters have stopped playing.

Lack of longevity not key to final goal

Serena’s status as an all-time Grand Slam great is not in dispute, only her longevity. She hasn’t always bothered competing or produced at the WTA Finals in the past, preferring to focus her efforts on and prioritise the majors over this annual end of season event.

Wrestling the Australian Open away from Kerber (4/1) may be her next priority, then, and Williams remains among top tips at 7/4 for a magnificent seven successes in Melbourne and 2017 Grand Slam betting.

It is further Slam successes Serena seeks, not other accolades. Others underestimate her at their peril, and knocked off her perch as WTA number one may only serve to make her more dangerous next season.

Related

You’ll find more tennis articles throughout the year on the dedicated Coral news page.

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