21-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has announced her schedule for the remainder of 2016. The schedule includes the three remaining Grand Slam tournaments, the Olympics, and the four Premier Mandatories, but does not have the Premier 5 event in Cincinnati on the list. Williams is the defending champion in Cincinnati.
Williams' 2016 Schedule
First on Williams' list for her tournaments for the remainder of 2016 is Indian Wells and Miami. The American is making her second straight appearance in the California desert, after returning there last year after a fourteen year boycott due to racial slurs. Next, the world number one will look to defend her title in Miami, where she is an eight time champion. The American will begin her clay season at the Premier Mandatory event in Madrid, where Williams is a two-time champion. The three-time French Open champion will then play in Rome and in Paris for the French Open.
For the second half of 2016, Williams will be playing at Wimbledon, where she is a six-time champion. The 21-time Grand Slam winner will then play at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, before making her way down to Rio for the Olympics. The American will not defend her title the week after Rio in Cincinnati, most likely aiming to rest up for the US Open. Williams will next play in New York at the final Grand Slam of the season, where she is going for her sixth title in the Big Apple. The American will then play at a Premier 5 event in Wuhan, before going to the final Premier Mandatory of the season in Beijing. Williams will finish her season at the WTA Finals in Singapore, should she qualify.
Williams' Prior Year Schedules
In prior years, Williams has played in Cincinnati before the US Open and occasionally in Bastad, Sweden after Wimbledon. Different to 2015, the world number one plans on playing the Asian swing at the end of the year, a part of the calendar the American skipped last year due to fatigue and a crushing semifinal loss at the US Open. Williams is also not playing in Premier events in Charleston and Stanford.
Williams' Disappointing Start To 2016
Though only playing one tournament so far in 2016, it has been a tough start to 2016 for the American. The world number one cruised through the draw at the Australian Open in Melbourne, not dropping a set on the way to the final. In the title match, Williams faced German lefty Angelique Kerber, who was going for her first ever Grand Slam title. Williams fell short in the final, losing in three tight sets to the German, which is the world number one's second straight crushing, Grand Slam loss. Though it was a great fortnight for the world number one, taking home the runner-up trophy was a major disappointment by her standards. Williams has not played since then, but will play an exhibition match this week in New York at Madison Square Garden before traveling to Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open.