When Serena Williams and Angleque Kerber stepped onto the center court of Wimbledon, the common thread between them was the lady I have admired, got inspiration from and certainly in head over heals with- STEFI GRAF ..
If one was trying to equal the record of the German’s great 22 Grand Slams in open era, than the other was trying to become the first German since Graf to capture the coveted title of Wimbledon.
Now if you ask me honestly, ( Sorry to all the Serena fans..) I do not want whatsoever any one EVER… to beat or come close to Graf’s achievements. ( I guess that’s what is considered to be an obsessive fan.. hmmm… ) Anyways, So my heart was with Kerber and my head with Williams. After failing to achieve the feat on two occasions ( First in Australian open where she was beaten by Angleque Kerber and than on the red clay , where she was defeated by Garbiñe Muguruza) , the younger Williams was a dominant force which Kerber this time failed to stop despite putting up a brave fight.. So there she was SERENA WILLIAMS, the proud Wimbledon champion for the 7th time ( Again equally the number of Wimbledon titles held by Steffi Graf )… The proud 22 major holder.( Finally the burden was off her shoulder).
That got me thinking, for the past decade or so, Serena has been dominating the women’s tennis circuit. If you look at the records of Major winners who are still playing, Serena has 22 Grand Slams and the lady that stands second to her is none other than her elder sister Venus Williams who has 7. ( THE WILLIAMS POWER). The podium is completed by Russian star Maria Sharapova who has 5 (and now is banned for taking performance enhancing drugs). The other champions include Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova , Svetlana Kuznetsova who have two majors each. The difference in the win clearly shows that the younger Williams is a force to reckon with. Some pundits have claimed that such is the dominance of Serena that it’s making women’s tennis boring. ( I honestly have a 50-50 opinion on this.)
Some of the Records held by Serena Williams-
You name the record and she has it.. She is the only tennis player – female or male – to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record 12 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt. Williams also holds the Open Era record for most titles at the Australian Open (which she has won it 6 times). She is at the moment second in all time Grand Slams champion’s list behind the great Margart Court who has 24 ..Etc etc etc….
Her contemporaries are far behind her in almost all aspects. At her best, she is unbeatable. Her opponents come onto the court just to increase the duration of defeat. See some of the matches she has played recently in Grand Slams and you will know what I am talking about. In her initial round matches, where her opponents were happy and celebrating a “game’ win like they have won the match. That’s the kind of power she has.
Bagels, Double bagels and breadsticks have been her norms of winning.
Tennis as we all know requires physical strength and Physical fitness as much as mental strength and mental fitness. Serena is a supreme example of both. Her court coverage, her ferocious serve, her timing of volleying during a match and the ability to hold her nerves on crunch situations says it all.
she is 34 years old but plays like a 19 year old giving her opponents a run for their money. Believe it or not, She has won 9 majors since turning 30. Talk about money, She became the highest paid female athlete in 2016 after earning around $30 million in prize money and endorsements.
But her life has not always been like that. As she herself says she is a fighter and a survivor, her life is a living example of it. From facing racial discrimination and being bullied by her tennis prodigies during her childhood to losing one of her sister in an attack and facing a life threatening injury some years back that almost forced her to quit the game, Serena Williams not doubt has come triumphant and beaten all odds. Off court she is a trend setter (with her choices of attires and sometimes her emotions and grunts while playing) and on court she is an inspiration to many. She has dominated the women’s tennis for more than a decade now and continues to do the same. Having said that she is a human at the end of day, despite of her saying many times that she is now not thinking about concurring the number 24, we all know she is and we hope she does… Because she is a true champion and deserves all the accolades and achievements.