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Williams tipped as US Open favourite

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Originally published on: 25/08/11 09:42

She may have been sidelined for a year with illness and injury, but it didn’t take Serena Williams long to strike on her return to the game.

Now riding a 12-match winning streak after winning Stanford and Toronto and losing just three sets in the process, the 13-time Grand Slam champion has been tipped by Chris Evert as the favourite to win the US Open.

“We saw her at Wimbledon, and I think even though she lost a close match to Bartoli, Bartoli played out of her head,” the Florida native told ESPN referring to the American’s fourth round run at SW19. “I think that exceeded people’s expectations, that Serena would do that well at Wimbledon after being out for a year and all her health issues. She committed herself. She practiced. She’s won two tournaments. That’s unbelievable. Not to undermine the rest of the field, but it just shows that she’s head and shoulders above anybody else, again, when she’s healthy.”

Evert, who has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles (including six US Open crowns) herself, believes that Williams belongs in the same bracket as the greatest female players of all time.

“I’d put her right up there with Martina [Navratilova] and Steffi [Graf],” she said. “She’s the best comeback player we’ve ever seen. If you look at the last 10 years, she’s been out, she comes back. Even when she hasn’t been in shape, she can still win a Grand Slam. She is an incredible athlete. She’s got the power. She’s got the speed. She’s got the mental toughness. There isn’t a chink in the armour there at all. Her health is her own worst enemy. Her health is her rival or competitor.”

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