By Bobby Kirschenbaum
A win over #2 seed Maria Sharapova in the recent finals of the Australian Open? Great. Getting the flu and experiencing chronic coughing and pain? Not so great. Serena Williams clinched her 6th career Australian Open title; however, she didn’t have too much time to recover from the Australian environment and prepare for the Fed Cup in Argentina.
Despite being sick and woozy, the #1 woman in the world wasn’t going to let the flu prevent her from representing her country. On Saturday, Serena, as well as her sister, Venus, hit the court in the first two matches of the tournament. Venus played first and went on to defeat Paula Ormaechea, the Argentinian 6-3, 6-2 in the first match, and Serena won over Maria Irigoyen 7-5, 6-0. The two sisters dominated and set the tone for the rest of the U.S. team, which helped them build on their lead over Argentina.
The next day, Serena would have a match scheduled against Paula Ormaechea, who was previously defeated by Venus. With a demanding lead at hand, the U.S. decided not to force Serena into a match while she was not 100%. Instead, Coco Vanderweghe replaced Williams in the match. Argentina finally had something to celebrate after Coco was defeated by Ormaechea 6-4, 6-4. Afterward, a determined and excited Paula spoke about the match. “Since last night, we’d seen that [Serena] wasn’t going to play much… I knew I would have revenge…”; however, Ormaechea’s 6-4 6-4 victory over Coco Vanderweghe was only a minor setback on the Americans’ way to a crucial 4-1 victory in the World Group II section.
In other news this week, Serena has decided to return to the tournament at Indian Wells for the first time since 2001. In that tournament, she won the title but was booed in the championship, and vowed never to return.
As far as the health of Serena goes, she should be better in the upcoming days. It won’t be long until the #1 Serena returns and continues her dominant performance thus far in 2015.