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Australian-Open: Serena Williams isn’t feared younger generation tennis stars more.



Serena Williams must face up to the reality that, at 39, she is no longer feared by the younger generation… where once there was intimidation, there is now vulnerability after a tear-stained exit from the Australian Open

The late submission to Naomi Osaka, the lingering look at the Rod Laver Arena before walking off, the fleeing of her press conference in tears.


Where once Serena Williams gave off a faintly intimidating air there was, instead, a sense of vulnerability as she departed the Australian Open.


As she enters the final phase of her career 39-year-old Williams has to accept that, since she last won a Grand Slam four years ago, a younger generation has arrived who do not fear her.

If Williams ever loses her composure in a press conference it is usually because she has been angered by something.


This time it was down to sadness and disappointment, triggered by a gentle inquiry about her future: ‘If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone,’ she responded.


She choked up when asked about her self-confessed surfeit of unforced errors: ‘I don’t know…I’m done,’ she said as she got up to leave.


Whatever her thought processes going forward, they could well be similar to Roger Federer, who was born less than two months before her.

Neither will wish to tarnish themselves by continually losing to lesser players, although that has hardly happened here with Williams. Osaka has shown again that on hard courts she is best player in the world.

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