Australian Open delay helped with my recovery from injury —Serena
Serena Williams says she is fit and ready for the Australian Open only because the competition was pushed back by three weeks.
The Australian Open, which usually holds in January but is due to begin next week, was delayed mainly to ensure that athletes quarantine as part of COVID-19 protocols.
39-year-old Williams is seeking her 24th Grand Slam title, and had sustained an Achilles injury at the US Open last September.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the American said the “extra time” was enough to get her fully recovered from the injury.
“It was great for me because I needed the time, because I couldn’t practise because of my achilles,” said fifth-seed Serena.
“I don’t think I would have been here if it was during the regular season.
“Achilles are like the worst thing, honestly. Oh my goodness, I didn’t realise it would be this long.
“I definitely was pushing the limits, but I’m here.”
Serena Williams is set to play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the last 16 of the Gippsland Trophy – one of six events running simultaneously at Melbourne Park this week to allow players to prepare for the Grand Slam.