Level-headed Osaka thriving in Grand Slam spotlight AFP, Melbourne

Tanya Simon
January 10, 2019

After giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian jnr during the 2017 US Open, Williams eventually returned to the circuit and unveiled a figure-hugging Black Panther-inspired catsuit at last year's French Open.

Talking about the draw, Serena has been handed a tough draw and could meet world number one Simona Halep in round four, and if she gets through that, Karolina Pliskova in the last eight.

It was an incident that overshadowed Naomi Osaka's maiden grand slam triumph and split opinion among fans and pundits alike.

While Evert thinks Serena is "raring to go" as she looks to equal Margaret Court's all-time Grand Slam title record of 24, she predicts strong challenges from the players who stopped the American reaching that tally past year - Japan's Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in the U.S. Open final, and Angelique Kerber who trounced her in the Wimbledon title match. Her experiences have been a learning experience for me.

"I think Osaka is reliable, I think she's gotten some matches in".

"I think that there will be a side note that Serena has a lot of passion and has at times lost her cool on the court, I don't for one minute think it will tarnish her whole reputation or her record".

"Osaka shines" The 21-year-old Osaka backed up her US Open win by riding a wave of fanatical home support to reach the final of the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo without dropping a set. "I think she's going to go in pretty confident at this point", Evert said.

Ireland to take in child migrants rescued at sea
Malta last week allowed the boats to shelter near its coasts from the bad weather but would not let them disembark the migrants. Some were refusing food to protest the stalemate, and the migrants' physical and psychological health were deteriorating.

"She has had time off, she can really get away from tennis, before maybe not as much".

"I noticed she seems fitter, which is a scary thought".

The Dane finally broke her Grand Slam hoodoo in Melbourne 12 months ago after 12 years of trying, and is determined to prove she remains a force at the top level after dropping the bombshell that she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

"It's yet another chapter in the incredible story of Serena Williams", ESPN tennis analyst and former professional Patrick McEnroe said about Williams' U.S. Open episode.

As far as the final match is concerned, in-form Angelique Kerber of Germany could be Williams' opponent.

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