Tennis fans have erupted with excitement after noticing Aussie tennis great Rennae Stubbs had reportedly joined Serena Williams' coaching team only days out from her final ever grand slam tournament in New York.
Williams announced the US Open would be her farewell tournament following an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years.
Unfortunately for Williams, since her return to singles tennis, the 23-time grand slam champion has gone 1-3 after being eliminated in the first round of Wimbledon and the Cincinnati Masters.
Williams is seeking a record-equalling 24th grand slam title to draw level with Margaret Court's all-time tally.
And in a bid to end her home grand slam with a fairytale finish, Williams appears to have enlisted the help of Aussie tennis great Stubbs.
The 40-year-old was spotted on Arthur Ashe Stadium having a hit with rival and World No.3 Maria Sakarri ahead of the main draw.
However, fans noticed Stubbs - a four-time grand slam doubles winner - in her coaching team offering advice.
The 52-year-old Australian was watching, before sitting down with Williams and having a chat after practice.
Stubbs, now a top analyst, has helped out players in the past.
She advised Karolina Pliskova from 2018-2019.
The tennis world reacted with excitement ahead of Williams' final ever tennis tournament.
— John Thrasher (@jthrasher) August 23, 2022
Quick US Open Serena Notes:
• Partnering with Rennae Stubbs as her coach/advisor
• Played a practice set with Maria Sakkari this morning
Stubbs encouraged her to play sets versus top opponents this week instead of a hitting partner to get her used to match play.
— Tick Tock Tennis (@TickTockTennis) August 23, 2022
OH MAMA RENA IS COMING AND WHY IS RENNAE STUBBS BACK THERE pic.twitter.com/V4gVYNhMSu
— Luke || #3inN3wYork (@tipsyguttergirl) August 23, 2022
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) August 23, 2022
— Serena Williams News (@serenanews) August 23, 2022
Williams' team-up with Stubbs could see the 40-year-old adopt a more aggressive approach at the US Open in an attempt to turn things around.
Stubbs has reportedly asked Williams to practice against top opponents this week in a bid to fast-track her preparation for the US Open.
Williams played her first grand slam in a year after returning to Wimbledon.
Serena Williams' special praise before retirement
Stubbs' participation comes after the longtime former coach of Serena Williams, Patrick Mouratoglou, parted ways with the 23-time grand slam champion before Wimbledon.
The pair ended a decade-long partnership that bore multiple grand slam singles titles.
Mouratoglou had worked with Serena since 2012, helping her win 10 of her 23 grand slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.
However, the French coach has now teamed up with former World No.1 Simona Halep after weeks of uncertainty about whether Williams was going to return for Wimbledon.
Williams' decision to bring in Stubbs is clearly her final move in the quest to reach Court's record.
Williams addressed Court's record and the 'GOAT' debate in her retirement announcement, pointing out that Court won all of her titles before the professional era of tennis.
"There are people who say I'm not the GOAT (greatest of all time) because I didn't pass Court's record, which she achieved before the 'Open era' that began in 1968," the 41-year-old wrote in an article for Vogue.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I'm really not thinking about her.
"If I'm in a Slam final, then yes, I'm thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn't help."
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