Organizers confirmed Tuesday that world number 2 Serena Williams will begin her 2017 season and preparation for the Australian Open in Auckland. The 22 times Grand Slam winner will reportedly miss the Hopman Cup, which is a mixed tournament, in Perth. In the last years, this competition was a pit stop for Serena in the way to the first Grand Slam of the year. Not next year it seems.
Not leader anymore
Serena Williams was the number one player in the word for 18 weeks. This reign ended just after the US Open, when she was kicked out of the semifinal by Czech player Karolina Pliskova. The number one spot currently belongs to German Angelique Kerber. Angie also went on to win the last Grand Slam of the season. Serena’s sister, Venus, has played in Auckland for the last three years and even won the singles title in 2015.
Serena said in a statement that she is looking to start the season strongly. In her opinion, Auckland is the best tournament for the Australian Open preparation. This news comes right after Serena choose to retire from both Asian tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing. Those are the biggest stops before the WTA Finals in Singapore, which will take place in October. She cited a shoulder injury which also bothered her during the Rio Olympics and the US Open.
Serena addresses the racial problems
On Tuesday, Serena Williams posted a lengthy statement on Facebook in which she explained that she “won’t be silent” in regard with the race conflicts with the police. Reportedly, Williams had a revelation while she was in the car with her 18-year-old nephew. She said that while he was driving, she saw a cop on the side of the road. This promptly made her check if her nephew was driving safely and reminded her about the case of Philando Castile. Castile was fatally shot after being pulled over by a cop in Minnesota.
Everything that happened after the shooting was recorded on tape. Castile’s girlfriend said that the cop simply shot him while he was putting his hands up. Reportedly, his child was also in the car when the tragedy happened. Serena also talked about many other shootings involving black people in her post. She declared herself a believer in the idea that not “everyone” is bad. Serena opinionated that there are indeed uneducated and ignorant people out there.But this does not make every black man or woman dangerous. Williams chose to remind people about the doors African American people opened. How they inspired billions of lives all around the world. Sport, politics, medicine are just a few areas in which black people made impact and which they elevated. New standards were raised. Now black people should not need to prove anything anymore.
Serena Williams ended her statement with an inspiring quote from Martin Luther King Jr. which read:
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal”.
The great champion chose to not be silent anymore. She chose to speak up for everyone and to make people aware of the fact that they should not be silent either. They should not be betrayers.
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