Family restrictions cloud Serena Williams’ US Open status

Serena Williams

Roger Federer is out. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic may be, too. And now Serena Williams’ coach is unsure of her status as well for this summer’s U.S. Open.


“I think Serena will want to play [U.S. Open] 100 percent, but I don’t know how she can go there with only one person,” her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said to Ben Rothenberg on the “No Challenges Remaining” podcast. “I don’t imagine her three weeks without her daughter, so maybe her daughter will coach her? I mean, she can only do better than me in Grand Slam finals.”

Serena Williams

There are proposed restrictions, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, that would limit each player to have one guest at the tournament each day. Williams’ daughter, Olympia, turns 3 on Sept. 1.

Djokovic has described those limitations as extreme and Nadal, the defending champion, has already voiced his concerns about coming to the tournament in New York City, which has been hit so hard by the virus. Federer won’t play the rest of the year due to knee surgery.


“The rules they told us we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme,’’ Djokovic told Serbia’s Prva TV. “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.

Serena Williams

“They want the tournament to go ahead at any cost for economic reasons, which I understand. But the question is, how many players are willing to accept those terms?”

It remains uncertain if the 38-year-old Williams, who has won 23 major crowns, will be a part of the US Open, granted it is held.

Serena Williams and daughter

“We were waiting to hear from the U.S. Open what was the plan,” Mouratoglou said. “Now the plan is quite clear, so I guess in the next days we will have to speak.”


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