x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Winning return for Serena can end the anarchy

While her may not be good news for her rivals, fans must surely be hoping Serena Williams returns to end the current state of anarchy in women's tennis.

The three grand slams this year have seen three different women's champions, and the trend will continue at the US Open.

Kim Clijsters, the Australian Open winner and the defending US Open champion, failed to show up because of injuries. Li Na, the French Open winner, and Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion, were first-round victims in New York. What does that say about the state of women's tennis at the moment?

Does it signal a lack of depth or does it magnify the gulf between Serena Williams and the rest?

Missing 11 months of tennis because of injuries, Serena is unbeaten since her fourth-round defeat at Wimbledon, winning titles in Stanford and Toronto.

Serena is favourite to add the US Open to her 13 grand slam crowns. Victoria Azarenka, who lost to the American in the third round on Saturday, has already sent out a warning to the rest of the field by saying: "Serena's playing at a higher level than actually I've seen her play in a few years."

While that may not be good news for the likes of Caroline Wozniacki or Vera Zvonareva - the first has never beaten Serena in five matches and the second is 2-6 against the American - fans must surely be hoping the former world No 1 returns to end the current state of anarchy in women's tennis.

Winning the US Open would be a great way to set things straight as it would be her fourth US Open crown across three decades after her 1999, 2002 and 2008 victories.