Let us grind: A long Grand Slam season comes to an end at US Open, the toughest test in tennis

The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Champion at Wimbledon in both singles and doubles. Gold medallist there again in both events, four weeks later at the London Olympics.

Nobody would blame Serena Williams if she felt worn down by this year's jam-packed tennis calendar. She doesn't see it that way, though — even with the grind of the U.S. Open looming.

Williams says: "It's almost as like a launching pad for what I want to do for the rest of the hard-court season."

In a way, Monday's start of the year's last Grand Slam does mark a new beginning — the kickoff of a six-month stretch on hard courts.

What's also true is that the players have been busier than normal in this Olympic year, as they head into the year's last final Grand Slam event.