AdelaideSerena Williams was preparing to face Naomi Osaka at the Adelaide Exhibition Championship on Friday. But after 14 days of quarantine as part of the measures imposed in Australia in the face of the epidemic, he decided to do something else.
The American, winner of 23 Grand Slam championships, escorted her daughter to the zoo.
Williams admitted that she counted confinement days in the calendar while spending time with her three-year-old daughter Olympia.
“We went to the zoo,” said Williams of the first thing he did outside of quarantine. “I am grateful that this is over, because being in a room with a three-year-old and being her best friend is difficult, especially when you have to train.”
Williams vs. Osaka will be a remake of the controversial 2018 US Open final. Osaka beat Williams 6-2 6-4 to claim her first Grand Slam title, but the confrontation is most remembered due to Williams ‘verbal altercation with President Carlos Ramos’ referee.
The visit appeared to be a good pre-match routine for Williams, who beat Osaka 6-2, 2-6, 10-7. Both players showed clear signs of inactivity, taking winning balls off the field or sending relatively easy passes into the net.
“Thank you all for hosting us. Honestly, we haven’t played with an audience in over a year, it’s been a long time so it’s really cool,” said Williams.
For his part, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, second in the world rankings, beat Dominic Tim, the US Open champion, 7-5, 6-4, to open the night games program in Adelaide, which is the hard-court tournament on Memorial Drive. .
In a court interview after the win, Nadal gave a candid answer when asked how he looked so young at the age of 34.
“You are not in my body,” said Nadal, smiling.
Romanian Simona Halep, the second best player in the world, beat Australian number one Ash Party 3-6, 6-1, 10-8 in the last game of that night. It was Barty’s first match in 11 months due to travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus and his decision not to defend his 2019 title at the French Open last year.
In the first game on Friday in Adelaide, Novak Djokovic missed the start of his exhibition against Italian Yanik Sener, Nadal’s coaching partner during the quarantine. Djokovic, the first in the world, was receiving treatment for a blister in his right hand.
Sener began the confrontation with Philippe Krajinovic, before the Serbian, eight-time Australian champion, arrived on the field for the second group, to the applause of the crowd.
Kraginovic won the first set 6-3 and Djokovic finished second with the same score, giving the Serbian a victory in the relay.
“I apologize for not entering the stadium from the start. I had to undergo treatment with a physiotherapist,” Djokovic told fans in an interview after the match. “I wanted to play, I wanted to appear here.”
Adelaide is the only Australian Open pre-season event not held in Melbourne. Other tournaments, including the ATP Cup and three WTA Championships, will start on Sunday.