I love playing against Serena, she told reporters. We always played on big stages. There were a lot of big fights. She’s one of the players who pushes me to the limit, who makes me better. I’m excited for that. The match is poised to be emotional not just for Williams and Azarenka, but for fans following their struggles as a magnified version of their own: This one is for every mother clawing her way back to her career post-baby, for every woman muddling through the Potus if not us who if not now when shirt childcare setback of the pandemic. After sharing her struggles so openly, Williams’s goal of winning her first major as a mother has started to feel intensely personal for fans. The two mothers on the court may be uniquely equipped to thrive under all of the pressure swirling around the match. “I always feel like I’m not perfect unless I’m perfect. That’s not a fun way to live your career and live your life.