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Serena looking to add another first in Sweden
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It’s an unusually star studded third week of July in tennis this year, as a host of the top players eliminated early look to bounce back from disappointing Wimbledon campaigns. One such player of course is Serena Williams as she takes centre stage in Bastad this week.
Serena has however been remarkably consistent this year again as that fourth round defeat at Wimbledon was only her third loss of the season.
It is perhaps due to that form that her appearance here in Bastad seems a bit surprising. With none of the top 20 present in the International-level event, her choice to use the event as a build up to the US Open series is hence, strange. In-form Romanian, Simona Halep who has won 3 titles in the past 5 weeks now is the No.2 seed at the event.
With no ranking points to defend this week, and an already impressive accumulation of 7240 points this season, a question mark looms over Serena's participation this week. Why compete?
Being a clay court event scheduled between Wimbledon and the US Open, the logic for a top player like Serena to participate in an event where she has no points to defend is bizarre.
Trying to get into the mind of the great champion that Serena is, one can perhaps look at the handsome appearance fee that she will get to play the tournament.
But with almost $ 5M in the bank for 2013 alone, the move doesn’t seem to support that notion either. In fact if anything, it would only derail Williams’ momentum going into the US Open hard court swing.
Again, money doesn’t seem to be the motivating factor.
At 31 years of age, Serena has already accomplished more than what any of her contemporaries. In fact, the American will almost definitely go down in history as one of the greatest ever players, which what makes her participation in such a small scale event odd.
Perhaps the answer to the question isn’t logical, on the other hand it seems to be more about what the 16-time Grand Slam champion desires.
So there we have it, Serena is here in Bastad because she wants to be here. At Wimbledon, Serena said “I've never been to Bastad and I'm excited about it. I've heard it's a great city. I've heard that it's like Cannes, but in Sweden. I definitely need to experience that.”
Having been oh so dominant over the entire length of her career, maybe her 30’s will be more about gaining life experiences than actually playing tournaments and accolades. And having never been to Sweden in the past, this one seems be about enjoying the country and its people.
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