I never grew up admiring Serena, If so, I was a little mad that no one could beat her for months in a row. My favorite player was Sharapova, the fact that she could go toe to toe with Serena and more importantly, that she seemed to not care who was on the other side of the net or she just cared enough to give it all she had.
But we are here to talk about Serena. As I got older that angry feeling became admiration. All the months she has played with people hoping and wishing for her historic 24th grand slam seem unfair. She was taught us so much the last two decades that a record should not be what determines her greatness. She is great and will always be.
I couldn’t stop thinking about her as I watch all the tweets and articles about Ash Barty, who don’t get me wrong, is an incredible champion and had a more than deserve victory against Danielle Collins in the final.
Yet as I encountered the endless comments about how she was the best player in the world by far, I kept coming back to Serena, remembering all the years where it seemed like no one could get close to beating her, and even if they did, she would come back up stronger, winning from a set down to claim the match in her favor.
Yes, Barty is a great example for young players and is a very gracious player. Her game is as solid as anyone’s and her slice seems to be the players’ worst nightmare, but please, let’s not act like it is the first time we see this dominance in the WTA tour.
23 or 24 Grand Slams don’t change that. The legacy will always remain.
I love tennis. I enjoy watching Osaka hit winners and aces. I enjoy Barty and Halep winning Wimbledon, but the admiration that I have for Serena’s long-lasting superiority will continue to grow, and as much as I love the fact that the level in the tour is so high that any player can win a Major, I do wish to see someone dominate and sustain that level of tennis like Serena once did.
“Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.”