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Serena ‘pain-free’ for US Open, says coach


US player Serena Williams/ AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU

US player Serena Williams/ AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU

World number one Serena Williams is “pain-free” as she embarks on winning a modern era record 23rd Grand Slam title at the US Open, her coach said Sunday.

The American star, who is also chasing a record seventh crown in New York, has been struggling with a right shoulder injury which contributed to an early loss at the Olympics and forced a withdrawal from last week’s Cincinnati tournament.

“She has been pain-free for a few days now,” coach Patrick Mouratoglou told ESPN on Sunday.

“The shoulder is still not 100 percent but it’s very close and she will find a way. She has a lot more to her game than just the serve — she has the power and mental strength.

“She wanted to play the Olympics in Rio, it was very important for her but the shoulder was killing her. She was just putting balls in play, but that’s the past.”

Williams suffered a shock semi-final loss at the US Open 12 months ago at the hands of Italy’s Roberta Vinci.

She has an equally tough start to this year’s event when she faces Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, the world number 36, on Tuesday.

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