Williams' shoulder problems improving ahead of US Open


Serena Williams' shoulder problems are beginning to ease as she prepares to win a record breaking 23rd grand slam in the modern era at the US Open.

World number one Williams equalled Steffi Graf's 22 major titles by triumphing at Wimbledon in July, but she sustained an injury that proved evident in her Rio 2016 capitulation at the hands of Elina Svitolina in the third round.

The 34-year-old subsequently pulled out of the Western and Southern Open this month, and admits she is not in great shape despite improvement in the joint.

Asked when her shoulder problems began, Williams replied: "Ironically enough, the day after the finals of Wimbledon. I was like, how did I win?

"For the Olympics, I just practiced two days before playing my match. It's not ideal, but it was all I could do.

"I have not played a lot and practiced a lot. The shoulder is getting a little bit better. I am taking it a day at a time.

"Usually I prefer to play more coming into tournament. But there is nothing you can do about it and I am going to try to make the best of every single opportunity that I have to play."

Williams will begin her US Open bid with a match against Ekaterina Makarova, who she beat en route to the title in 2012 and 2014.

"I know she's a good player. I've just got to do the best I can. She's a big fighter. She never really stops," continued the world number one.

"I think one thing I think that's pretty impressive is she gets a lot of balls back. You think she's not super quick, but she is."