Serena Williams left her upscale Manhattan hotel on Saturday afternoon when she attended the US Open final, which could be historic and in which her close friend Meghan Markle will be attending.
Former number one in the world, 37, was pictured wearing a black Nike tennis top, shorts, and a Cerise track jacket when leaving Lotte New York Palace in Midtown, Manhattan.
She is said to be watched by the Duchess of Sussex, who arrived in New York an hour late to catch Saturday's clash against Canadian Bianca Andreescu.
If she wins, this will be her first Grand Slam title since the Australian Open in 2017. After that, she took a year to have her daughter with the husband of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Serena Williams left her upscale Manhattan hotel on Saturday afternoon when she attended the US Open final, which could be historic and in which her close friend Meghan Markle will be attending
Williams defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the semifinals on Thursday and plans to win her 24th Grand Slam title, which would link her to Margaret Court for most of tennis history
She will compete against Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the US Open final. The game begins at 4 p.m. at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens
The game against the teenage phenomenon Andreescu begins at 4 p.m. at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis stadium in the Queen & # 39; s Flushing Meadows district.
Fellow mother Meghan will cheer her on in a sign of solidarity, while Williams is getting back in shape after a series of defeats after her pregnancy – recently lost in the Wimbledon final in London.
Williams defeated Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in the semifinals on Thursday and plans to win her 24th Grand Slam title, which would link her to Margaret Court for most of tennis history.
Andreescu had never completed the second round of a Grand Slam before the 2019 US Open. The 19-year-old Canadian defeated Belinda Bencic in straight sets in the semi-finals on Thursday.
37-year-old Williams has lost all three major finals she has achieved since returning from birth, including Naomi Osaka in Flushing Meadows last year.
This match is best remembered by Williams' arguments with referee Carlos Ramos.
On Friday, her trainer Patrick Mouratoglou also believes that her familiarity with the big stage could give her an advantage.
The Duchess of Sussex, who arrived in New York an hour late to watch the clash with Canadian Bianca Andreescu on Saturday. Markle is pictured here as Williams competes in Wimbledon in 2018
Williams will play Bianca Andreescu in today's final. The 19-year-old Canadian defeated Belinda Bencic in straight sets in the semi-finals on Thursday
"It's called pressure, and I think Serena had to put some pressure on her life," he said of the 37-year-old who learned tennis from her father on courts in Compton, California as a child.
"And you can't think she can't handle pressure well."
Williams appears to have fully recovered from the knee injury that forced her to withdraw from the Miami and Rome tournaments after just one game, adding an extra dimension to her already deadly game.
"If you feel weak or not as strong as you want, it is more difficult to overcome the pressure," said Mouratoglou.
"I think it's a very different situation now, because now it can move.
“If she has to play the rally, she can play the rally. We saw that I think a few times during the tournament.
Williams was seen carrying two-year-old daughter Alexis on her side when she entered the Lotte New York Palace hotel on Friday evening. It was reported that she was "nervous" before the big match when she was able to break the Grand Slam record
Meghan and Serena Williams laugh together at the DirecTV Beach Bowl in New York in 2014
"So there is no panic if she misses something more than usual. No problem. There are other ways to play. & # 39;
Meanwhile, Markle flew out of London Heathrow on Friday morning, leaving Prince Harry and her four-month-old son Archie in Windsor – although a security team is said to be with her.
It is believed that she boarded either the 8.25am flight or the 9.00am flight from Heathrow.
The flight at 8.25am was more than 30 minutes behind schedule. It was supposed to arrive in New York at 11:05 a.m. local time, but arrived at 12:22 p.m. instead.
The Duchess was on Friday with a friend in the trendy West Village area of Manhattan on the way to Modo Yoga.
Meghan, 38, joined a surprisingly full class of up to 60 people in the environmentally conscious studio that specializes in hot yoga classes.
"There were many cute, knowing smiles," among those in the room, a source told People.com, each respecting the Duchess' privacy.
Serena Williams celebrates during her US Open tennis semi-final win in New York on Thursday
Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian smiles when he sees his wife play at the US Open Women semi-final on Thursday
Incredibly, despite an amazing number of people who are in the same small studio as one of the most famous women in the world, there is still no photo of Meghan's session.
Meghan stayed up to watch the semi-finals, which ended at 1:30 p.m. British time yesterday, and is said to have boarded a flight in London around 8:30 a.m.
The Duchess' trip also comes because the helpers insisted that Meghan and Harry were too busy working on charitable projects to join the Queen in Balmoral this weekend.
Despite the long flight and a stressful delay for Meghan, sources have claimed that Williams & # 39; coaches are not overly enthusiastic that the Duchess has come to support her friend as she could distract her from the game at hand.
They are said to be concerned about Williams losing when Meghan played their last game at Wimbledon.
A source said on page 6: "Serena asked her coach if Meghan would come when she won last night, and everyone is concerned because tennis players are superstitious and Serena lost when Meghan watched her at Wimbledon."
The source added that Williams’s helpers were concerned that the trip was an advertising stunt.
Meghan Markle can be seen here with the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton, who welcome the winner Simona Halep from Romania after her victory against Serena Williams from the USA at the Ladies Singles Final in July 2019
Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have come under fire from taking private flights after previously claiming that they will have a maximum of two children to avoid environmental damage
Williams is said to "worship" Meghan and "have no word of it".
It is not yet known where Meghan will live in New York and who she will live with. However, it is believed that she flew in first class for the two-day trip across the Atlantic.
The Duchess, who also watched Williams at Wimbledon in July, flew after the argument over her and her husband Prince Harry, who made four private jet trips in eleven days last month.
Meghan is expected to return to the UK on Sunday. A source told The Times: "It's a last minute trip. Excited to support her friend and then come back. & # 39;
She is said to have considered traveling across the Atlantic to attend the finals at Arthur Ashe Stadium since Williams won her quarter-finals on Wednesday.
This is Meghan's first trip to New York since her baby shower, which Williams helped organize when she and her celebrity friends celebrated five nights in a penthouse for $ 70,000 a night.
The party, which caused unrest in the UK due to its breathtaking total bill of $ 405,000, was hosted by Williams and longtime friend Jessica Mulroney.
After Meghan became Prince Harry's girlfriend and then Duchess, she is said to have relied on Williams to advise in advance of her marriage on how to deal with the media
Williams, who attended her wedding to her husband in May 2018, said last year that they "had known each other for a long time, but we've been really reliant on each other lately."
On this occasion, Meghan flew with her private friend Amal Clooney in a private jet to and from the United States, which paid for the 13-hour round-trip trip that cost $ 16,000 an hour.
Meghan first met Williams at a Super Bowl party in 2010, and it is believed that her friendship has developed rapidly through frequent phone calls and lyrics.
After Meghan became Prince Harry's girlfriend and then duchess, Meghan is said to have relied on Williams to advise on how to deal with the media.
Williams, who attended their wedding in May 2018, said last year that they "had known each other for a long time, but we've been really reliant on each other lately."
The couple, who live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, had a week-long trip to Ibiza last month and a long weekend in southern France with Sir Elton John.
The Sussexes were under attack for taking private flights after claiming they had a maximum of two children to avoid environmental damage.
Her son Archie, who was born on May 6th at Portland Hospital in London and is on the seventh throne, is only four months old.
Buckingham Palace also officially confirmed that the Sussexes Baby Archie would take them to Africa as their first official family tour.
There were rumors that the Sussexes would join the monarch at Balmoral in the Scottish highlands with their little son Archie this week.
But while most members of the royal family have traveled all the way to Aberdeenshire, Harry and Meghan actually have no plans to fly to Scotland.
Sources close to the couple insist that the decision should not be seen as a "nudge" – and Harry rarely goes to Queen Deeside's estate these days.
On August 6, they flew to Ibiza on Meghan's 38th birthday with a private jet. Days later, they flew to Nice on an $ 18 million Cessna plane known as the "pinnacle of luxury".
Sir Elton said he paid for the flights to his vacation home and "made a reasonable contribution" to a carbon footprint fund to offset the environmental impact.
Earlier this week, Harry defended his use of private jets, claiming that he needed them for his family's safety – despite calling on the public to reduce their carbon footprint.
This week, he was flying to Amsterdam on schedule to promote Travalyst, a green tourism program.
During the event, the prince refused to apologize for his recent private flights and said, “I spend 99 percent of my life traveling the world with ads.
“Occasionally there has to be a way [to fly privately] based on a unique circumstance to make sure my family is safe – it's that simple.
“For me it's about balance. It's not a decision I want to make, but if I have to do that, I will make sure that I can offset the impact I have. & # 39;
Harry dismissed concerns about his carbon footprint by insisting that he "offset" his emissions by donating to renewable energy incentives and tree planting.