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2017 U.S. Open

With Serena out, can Venus claim the US Open?
by Ken,

Venus Williams

When Venus made it to the finals of the Australian Open back in January, we were pretty sure Serena would beat her, and of course, we were right. But when Serena then announced her break from the game due to pregnancy, we got the feeling that this might be Venus' time to shine. As she approaches the end of her career, this is an opportunity that Venus can not afford to pass up.

A poor showing at the French Open left Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as her only opportunity this year of winning that elusive first major since her three in a row at Wimbledon from 2006-2008. Unfortunately for her, although she made it to the finals at Wimbledon, her opponent, Garbiņe Muguruza, played a better game than her off center court with a masterful display.

So now, Venus may be down to what many feels is her last opportunity at a major before retiring. Although she hasn't announced any definite plans to step away from the game, Venus did, however, confirm that once she does retire, she'll leave thE sport.

Venus won the U.S. Open in 2000 and then again in 2001, and while her career took a bit of a nosedive in recent years, it seems that this year, she is certainly back on form. A place in the finals of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon should have done her confidence a world of good, and although BetStars has her at 14/1 odds, we'd love to see her overcome those odds and take her place in the finals at the very least.

However, there is one Spanish obstacle in her way: Garbiņe Muguruza. Her nemesis at Wimbledon is the favorite for the U.S. Open, and with her confidence riding sky-high, Venus is likely hoping that the Spaniard falters in one of the earlier rounds, so that she doesn't have to face her again. Then there is also the current media frenzy surrounding Venus' involvement in a car accident. The press loves a good (or bad) celebrity story, and there's no way they'll give her a moment's peace before the tournament starts at the end of August. Could the negative press spur her on? Maybe. But in all honesty, we think that the attention will take its toll and Venus' game will suffer for it. While we'd love nothing more than a win for Venus, in the current circumstances and regardless of Serena's absence, we're more inclined to stick with Muguruza's favorite status.

Angelique Kerber will no doubt make it as far as the semis at least while our wildcard pick would have to be everyone's favorite Russian, Maria Sharapova. After missing out on Wimbledon because of an injury, it would be a real shame if the now fit Sharapova didn't get the wildcard entry that everyone expects. This week, she played her first game of tennis on U.S. soil since 2015 in Stanford, defeating Jennifer Brady in three sets, so here's hoping we'll see her at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

There are, of course, others worthy of a shout, and as is the nature of sports in general, a rank outsider could blow everyone else away. Realistically speaking, though, it's hard to see past either Muguruza or Kerber for the title.

So, as unfortunate as it may seem, we're not going with Venus for the win this time around, and it's looking increasingly unlikely that we'll see the 37-year-old add another grand slam title to the seven she has already claimed. It's a real shame as a final grand slam title would be the perfect end to a stellar career. There's still hope for next year, but this golden opportunity may have just passed her by.

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