“I think I’ve always said a champion isn’t about how much they win, but it’s about how they recover from their downs, whether it’s an injury or whether it`s a loss.”
— Serena Williams
In a little more than a week, Serena Williams, fresh off her French Open win, will begin defense of her Wimbledon title. It’s been quite a year of Williams. Since losing in the first round at the 2012 French Open, Williams has won Wimbledon, the gold medal at the Summer Olympics, the U.S. Open, the WTA championship and the French Open. She’s ranked No. 1 in the world. Her record since that loss in Paris is 74-3. She is 43-2 this year. Did I mention, she’s 31 years old?
She has won 16 Grand Slam titles in singles and 13 in women’s doubles and two in mixed doubles (according to Wikipedia). She is the oldest woman ever to be ranked No. 1 in the world.
So my question is: Is Serena Williams the greatest tennis player ever? No, she’ll never beat Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. She might be an out-of-shape Andre Agassi or Jim Courier.
I find the ups and downs of Serena Williams’ tennis career fascinating. She’s been No. 1 before only to disappear off the rankings. In fact, after she won the 2010 Wimbledon title, she stepped on a chunk of glass and that injury nearly ended her career. She didn’t return to the court until March 2011.
Since her return, she has been at time brilliant and at times not so much. She abused the chair umpire in the finals at the 2011 U.S. Open, a match she lost. It was her final match of 2011.
After she won the French Open, Williams said: “I think I’ve always said a champion isn’t about how much they win, but it’s about how they recover from their downs, whether it’s an injury or whether it’s a loss.”
Serena summed herself up right there. I expect to see Williams holding up the silver platter at Wimbledon in about three weeks. Grass is her best surface. She won twice there last year (the Olympic tennis tournament was played at Wimbledon). If I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’d take Williams over the field. I don’t think there is anyone out there who can beat her right now. If she loses her focus or is injured, yes, she can be defeated. But, if she’s on her game, she’s the best.