Serena Williams aims to extend her emotional farewell tour at the US Open on Friday as China’s Wu Yibing targets a mammoth upset against men’s champion Daniil Medvedev.
After knocking out world number two Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday, Williams has fans daring to dream of a fairytale 24th Grand Slam title as she prepares to retire from the sport.
Williams, who barely played for a year before returning to tennis in early August, has been careful to dampen down expectations in what is likely to be her final tournament, dismissing her chances of victory as “fan fantasy.”
“There are a lot of very strong girls there in the draw but I think if she plays really good tennis, I think she always has a chance to win,” was Kontaveit’s verdict.
Three of the top four seeds have already fallen, as well as both of last year’s finalists, 2021 champion Emma Raducanu and Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.
“I don’t have anything to prove, I don’t have anything to win. I have absolutely nothing to lose,” Williams said.
The veteran and elder sister Venus were eliminated in the first round on Thursday.
In the men’s draw on Friday, Chinese youngster Wu would create one of the biggest shocks in Open history with an upset in his ‘David & Goliath’ meeting with world number one Medvedev.
Wu, winner of the US Open junior crown in 2017, hardly played for three years prior to this season due to injury and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think there’s more to come,” Wu said after his second round defeat of Borges.
Wu has been part of a successful contingent of Chinese players at the US Open. Four Chinese women have reached the third round of the tournament, another Grand Slam first.