Those interested in watching Serena Williams on her road to retirement will have opportunities to do so in at least three tournaments.
“I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York,” Williams said in a Vogue cover story announcing her retirement, referring to the U.S. Open. “But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun.”
Her next match is set for Wednesday in the round of 32 of the National Bank Open in Toronto against Belinda Bencic, a Swiss player ranked 12th who defeated Tereza Martincova on Tuesday. Williams will be scheduled for a night match, the tournament said on its website. Bencic, 25, last faced Williams at the 2017 Australian Open.
National Bank Open matches are televised by its official broadcasters Sportsnet and TVA Sports. In the United States, the Tennis Channel is broadcasting the Canadian tournament, and some matches are available on Bally Sports.
After the National Bank Open, which ends on Sunday, Williams is expected to play in Mason, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, at the Western & Southern Open, which runs Aug. 13-21. The tournament said on Twitter that it was “honored to be a small part of” Williams’s career.
“We’re so excited to watch her at our tournament this year,” the tournament said.
Williams is expected to play outside Cincinnati with a protected ranking that has yet to be determined. The tournament, which has tickets available online, is set to feature a number of formidable players, including Iga Swiatek, the No. 1-ranked player on the women’s tour, and Emma Raducanu, the reigning U.S. Open champion.
After the Western & Southern Open, there are two more tournaments before the U.S. Open — Tennis in the Land in Cleveland and the National Bank Championships in Granby, Quebec. Player lists for the tournaments, which run concurrently Aug. 21-27, have not yet been released, and it was unclear whether Williams will play in either.
The U.S. Open, the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, begins Aug. 29 and runs through Sept. 11. The tournament will be televised by ESPN, and has tickets available online. The women’s final is scheduled for Sept. 10.
While the U.S. Open draw has not been set, the first chance for fans to see Williams would be during the first round of the tournament on Aug. 29 or 30, a match that would most likely be played inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I’m not looking for some ceremonial, final on-court moment,” Williams told Vogue. “I’m terrible at goodbyes, the world’s worst. But please know that I am more grateful for you than I can ever express in words. You have carried me to so many wins and so many trophies. I’m going to miss that version of me, that girl who played tennis. And I’m going to miss you.”
Williams was vague about her plans after the U.S. Open, and did not pinpoint exactly when she would wind down her time in the sport.
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