A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Serena, the Queen of Tennis!!!
With the US Open upon us, Serena goes for a seasonal Grand Slam, after obtaining the Serena’s slam as she now has all of the Major’s trophy in hand. At 33, Serena is at top of the Tennis world at an age when most Tennis players are looking to retire. Serena played her first professional match in 1995 and won her first major in 1999 but for nearly a decade, the Williams sisters dominated Tennis while elevating the women game. What the Williams sister provided was combination of grace and athletic skills rarely seen in the women’s games. They had a power serve that match or exceeded many men players but as they gotten older, they added nuances to their game. While Venus has suffered from illness and is on the downside of her career, Serena continues to win majors and dominate Women Tennis. She has won eight out of the last thirteen majors and all of these victories were after Serena’s turned 30.
So for the past year, she has been on a roll as Bethany Donelson, the author of Coming of Age: Andy Roddick Breakthrough Year, noted, “The only person who can beat Serena is Serena.” In boxing, there are fighters who are limited by their skills. Joe Frazier could knock you out with a left hook but he couldn’t change his style and box and there are boxers who don’t have the power and use their mastery of the ring to avoid being punch. Then there are boxers who can box and maneuver their opponents to set up counters but they can also knock out their opponents. Sugar Ray Robinson was the master boxer who could end a fight with one punch.
Serena is the Sugar Robinson of Tennis as she is one of those Tennis players who can bang from the baseline, serve a 120 mph plus serve but also attack the net. Compared to Maria Sharapova, who depends upon her power serve, Williams has more weapons and the ability to change her game. Which explains why Serena has beaten Maria Sharapova seventeen times in a row.
By the time Serena turned 30, she had won 13 majors and her sister snagged an additional seven majors but there were pundits who viewed Serena and Venus as underperforming. Somehow the Williams’ sisters’ interest outside of the sport including successful clothing lines interfered with their career and pursuit of greatness. Serena is now playing as good as Tennis she ever has.
Since turning 30, she has won eight more majors and no one is writing how Serena is underperforming. She is poised to catch Steffi Graf in majors if she wins the US Open and she is presently three behind Margret Court. She is closing on a legacy of being not just the greatest woman Tennis players but being the greatest Tennis player ever.
Watching Serena is watching a great artist working but somehow the master has yet to produce her greatest work. For nearly two decades, Serena Williams has been at the top and somehow when she does finally leave; there will be a hole that can never filled.
Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens are the upcoming American stars but when they play Serena, they are still the students learning from their Professor and the Professor still have lessons left to teach her protégés.