Okay, I know this is not Naija news beht Serena Willaims is bae, so I have to shout about it!
I knew this game would have me in knots – I love both Williams sisters, but I have to say that I stan much harder for Serena than I do for Venus, so my belly was doing me anyhow as the game started.
Some hours ago, when she slammed her way to two games away from winning all four grand slams of a calendar year, I had to pause for a moment in awe and take some time to appreciate what makes this lady tick.
Serena Williams’ tireless mastery of competition, her refreshed love for more and her clearly contagious celebration win after win, have deservedly carved a niche for her already amongst stars. In fact, after being dispassionately dispatched yesterday at the quarter-final of the ongoing US Open with scores of 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, all Venus had were praises for her seemingly unmatchable younger sibling.
A cursory look into Serena’s comments and views about herself and her blistering career, gives an insight into who she is, how she maintains this Champion spirit, and what fuels her drive for victory, despite her already intimidating trophy haul.
After struggling to get clinch a win at the second round against an unseeded player, she said, “Today, I just said one point at a time,” Williams said. “When I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play better”
Her records till date arguably prove that she doesn’t buck, and her drive is even taking an aim at defying age.
Earlier in the year, Serena Williams became the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open era as she was 33 years and 289 days old when she beat Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-4, 6-4 to complete the ‘Serena Slam’, win her 21st Slam singles title.
After she had had some time to digest her latest triumph, she was told Martina Navratilova was 37 when she contested her final Slam singles final in 1994, and asked if there was any reason she couldn’t be playing at that age.
‘Oh my gosh!’ she said. ‘I can’t believe that. Wow. I didn’t realise she was 37. That was an incredible run. Who knows? I would like to believe that I wouldn’t still be playing when I’m 37.’
Asked to clarify whether she can see herself still competing in four years’ time, Serena added: ‘I never thought I’d be playing at 33. Never say never. I don’t know what to say to that. Who knows? Physically I feel better than when I was younger. I’m just doing the best I can.’
At the US Open, she has sustained this scintillating form that suggests no end is in sight for her career.
She recently hypothesized why she might have been capable of dominating several generations of rivals. “I’m like a sponge,’ she said. ‘When I lose I gather up information, I expand and learn so much from every loss . . . I’m the kind of player that when I lose, instead of not learning I learn a lot from it. That’s helped me out.”
Williams’ longevity and her sheer domination of the biggest events has made her the Optimus Prime of female tennis, an ascendancy that has made a principal candidate to be the greatest of all time. Arguably only Steffi Graf (22 Slam singles) and Navratilova (18 Slam singles titles and 41 in doubles) remain rivals for that honour.
Serena’s 6-2 1-6 6-3 win in New York to kept alive her hopes of winning all four Grand Slams in 2015, but Venus believes that the achievement will not particularly define Serena
‘She has nothing to prove. She’s really the best ever, so what are you going to do? Just try to make it. If you don’t, then that’s that and go to the next one.”
Amidst all her gumption for greatness, Serena’s got some time to also add some hip to it all. She said on Saturday evening that on court she usually has a song playing in her head.”If I stop singing it, I usually start losing, and then I go back to singing. She added, ‘It’s crazy up there, indicating her head, and smiling. ‘You don’t want to be up there.’
And her song of choice? She revealed, “it’s usually ‘What A Feeling’ by Irene Cara. ‘Random, right?’
Williams’ next appointment with history will be a semi-final clash with unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci, and edge closer to a potential four-Slam year for the first time since Graf in 1988. ‘It would be amazing, even to have this opportunity to be into New York, being an American, with that amazing New York crowd.’, she said
Serena Williams is gradually assuming that grandeur role of becoming an astute model, not just to women and women in sports, but to anyone who actually cares to amaze.
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