Serena Williams’ bid for a record-tying 24th major women’s singles title begins at the Australian Open on Monday.
The American star will face teenager Anastasia Potapova in the opening round in Melbourne, where she is again among the favorites.
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Williams is without a major title since the 2017 Australian Open, but she appears to be well-placed to end that wait.
We take a closer look at where Williams is at ahead of the first round
Serena Williams form and results
Williams did not need long to end another wait in 2020. The 38-year-old superstar claimed the title at the Auckland Open for her first WTA Tour crown since 2017. She had an impressive run in New Zealand, too; she dropped just one set and thrashed Amanda Anisimova 6-1 6-1 in a semifinal clash.
Serena Williams’ Australian Open 2020 first-round match
Her first opponent, Potapova, is in vastly different form, having made a rather mixed start to 2020. The 18-year-old recorded wins in Brisbane and Adelaide but failed to qualify for the main draws. Potapova reached a career-high ranking of 64 last year and did beat Angelique Kerber at the French Open. Unsurprisingly, she has never met Williams, and she would need a huge turnaround in form to cause a shock.
Serena Williams’ Australian Open draw
Williams should have some time to settle in. Tamara Zidansek or wild card Han Na-lae potentially await in the second round, while Wang Qiang could be her opponent in the third.
Serena Williams quote
“It’s pretty satisfying just to get a win in the final [in Auckland]. That was really important for me, and I just want to build on it. It’s just a step towards the next goal.”