Even as a Serena stan you can´t ignore that defeat and its psycological implications not just for Serena but for every player who saw it, considered by many the biggest upset in tennis history. She lost two slam finals in a row next year, when was the last time she had lost two slam finals? it´s not that she retired in QF for some injury or something she was in the finals and lost. Psycology and self confidence plays a bigger role than many like to admit. It´s not just one factor. I agree that she lacks fitness but she´s old and can´t risk to overplay and the tour is evolving as well.Vinci? What a silly response. By the time Serena ran into Vinci she’d already been number 1 for at least two and a half years straight and was bound to have a let down sooner or later. Vinci definitely outplayed Serena there, but probably couldn’t replicate it again to save her life. Serena hasn’t played a full schedule since 2015 because her body started to break down. Series of injuries in 2016 which reduced her to 8-9 tourneys that year, had a baby in 2017, and now hasn’t devoted enough time to fitness since her return. The comment about Serena having Venus in the last slam is an ignorant response too. (One could easily say Kerber got lucky to meet postpartum Serena in her Wimby final, especially after being mauled by both Serena and Garbiñe, two players who are both superior to her on grass, in previous years) Anyway, Serena made three more slam finals in 2016 even though she didn’t play a full schedule, so how can you claim the decline was due to the Vinci loss? Played one of the best Wimbledon finals in recent memory in the 2016 final, so that doesn’t sound like a woman who gave up on her career after an unexpected loss to Vinci. Hate when fans try to claim that one match altered a player’s whole career. Serena’s problems are due mostly to a lack of match play and fitness and occasionally due to injury, and she probably knows that too.
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And yes, I think she was a little lucky for that AO2017 title, of course she totally deserves it but it was definitely one of her easiest slams, she didn´t lose a set, but the highst ranked player she faced was a young #9 Konta in their first match and the toughest match was against #16 Strychova, her opponent in the final had an even easier draw to get there. As I said it´s not just one factor, but I think her losses in 2015 and 2016 took some of the respect the tour had when playing Serena