Earlier this year I blogged that Serena Williams is not your ‘Average World #1.
When in fact Serena is one of the most fascinating figures in Sports today…AN ICON KNOWN BY FIRST NAME ONLY‼
I watch ESPN hoping to hear more about Serena Williams’ historic win at the 2015 Australian Open. But all I’m getting is continuing coverage of this year’s Superbowl. American pundits going on ad nauseam about the greatness and genius of quarterback Tom Brady who just won his 4th title, with little to no mention of the cheating controversy “Deflate-gate’. They continue gushing over an inebriated/hard-partying Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots; who’s become the defacto ‘glorified bad boy’ of professional football in running stories on ESPN.
Coverage by ESPN and ESPN Tennis was relegated to simply covering the grand slam itself. Williams, 33, now owns 19 Grand Slam singles titles, tying her with Helen Wills Moody. Steffi Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, while Australia’s Margaret Court owns the all-time record with 24 (before the Open Era). There wasn’t any run-up coverage of Serena’s title chase during the Aussie Open and after the win, no special segments of congratulations. Sports talk shows were mostly absent.
The NFL’s Superbowl known for it’s astronomically priced commercials pushing the possibilities of innovation and technology, aired a series of spots entitled #LikeAGirl. They delivered an important message: your words should be tempered in ways that create and maintain confidence , courage and self-worth in girls.
Yet America remains mute on and seemingly unaware that it is home to, what newspapers around the world frame as, the most accomplished female athlete in the world. One who not only hits #LikeAGirl, but better than just about everyone when it comes to her serve!
[NOTE TO Olympic Tennis: Why are you still in delay mode regarding Russian Tennis Federation Official Tarpischev, who made Racist/Sexist remarks about Venus and Serena on television. I commend both the WTA and the USTA for immediately condemning him‼ He received a fine and ban in fact by the WTA.]
Why is the American Sports Media Seemingly
Dismissive of Serena?
Some offer as explanation that Serena’s greatness is a given thus any word or action to the contrary becomes the story. Although counter argument to this is that the American media is remiss, as the time has yet-to-come of running commentaries on ESPN about “Serena the Great!”
Are there more grand slams to come in 2015? Thankfully Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach of Serena Williams for two-and-a-half years, clues us in, sharing that she is ”mentally better”and has “bigger weapons”. About Serena’s chase with the history books:
“Of course she can,” said Mouratoglou. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. For sure it’s going to be very difficult. She will have to stay fit, she will have to keep the motivation as high as it is now. She has been playing 17 years on tour, so to wake up every morning, go to practice, all these things.
“But she still has for the moment.
Without fail they laud her power and strength. True, with the exception of elder sister Venus, Serena’s power game is unsurpassed. As I read, listen and watch commentaries about her game I silently scream – how can anyone see Serena Williams play tennis and not marvel at the intelligence and beauty of her game.
The extraordinary serve – forehand, backhand – and exact shot making. FINESSE. A mastermind at work on the court, able to identify the weaknesses in her opponents game. Prepared, arriving with a strategic game plan and focus/commitment to execution. And win or lose, always going down swinging, most often with ‘precise’ swings.
TWIN EVILS OF RACISM/SEXISM
When they arrived on the scene, Venus and Serena not only changed how the women’s game is played, they changed the look; stunning the ‘Lily White’ tennis establishment and fans in America. And they have and continue to endure the racist abuse and indignities that all African American trailblazers are forced to contend with (i.e. Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and etc.).
One would think with Serena the tide in America would have changed, in light of her achieving such unimaginable feats, not only surpassing Evert and Navratilova with her 19th grand slam but her sustained dominance in the women’s game.
“Serena Williams not attaining recognition she deserves:
Following her 19th Grand Slam victory, she is almost certainly the most under-appreciated legend in American sport”by Dave HanniganLINK→http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/other-sports/serena-williams-not-attaining-recognition-she-deserves-1.2091347#.VNVN7lbmdRY.twittervia @IrishTimes
“Serena Williams and her sister Venus deserve more respect and we should cherish them while we can”by Charlie EccleshareLINK→http://fw.to/Ui0I26H via @Telegraph