Serena Williams has been winning Grand Slam titles for 15 years now – three years more than any other winning span in the Open Era. Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, well here are several…’-)
Serena has 33 total Grand Slam titles, 18 of those in singles now – starting with the 1999 US Open.
2002 French Open: Serena beat Venus in the final, the first time a little sis beat a big sis at a major.
2002 Wimbledon: Serena beat Venus in the final again, which pushed her to No.1 for the first time too.
2002 US Open: Turning heads with her Catwoman-like outfit, Serena won a third straight Grand Slam title.
2003 Australian Open: Serena saved match points in the semis and beat Venus to finish the Serena Slam.
2003 Wimbledon: Serena beat Venus for the title and stood with first-time major winner Roger Federer.
2005 Australian Open: Serena saved match points in the semis and beat Lindsay Davenport for the title.
2007 Australian Open: Defying her No.81 ranking, Serena stormed to her eighth Grand Slam singles title.
2008 US Open: Serena won the title then returned to No.1 for the first time since the 2003 season.
2009 Australian Open: Serena beat Dinara Safina to capture her milestone 10th Grand Slam singles title.
2009 Wimbledon: Serena saved match point in the semifinals and then beat Venus to capture the title.
2010 Australian Open: Serena became the first player in the Open Era to win five Australian Open titles.
2010 Wimbledon: Serena won the title but then missed almost a full year due to injury and illness.
2012 Wimbledon: She was there for Federer’s first major, and she was there for his 17th and most recent.
2012 US Open: Serena made more magic in New York, coming back to beat Victoria Azarenka for the title.
2013 French Open: For the first time in 11 years, Serena conquered her second hometown of Paris.
2013 US Open: Serena beat Azarenka in an absolute grinder for her 17th Grand Slam singles title.
2014 US Open: Serena ties Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 Grand Slam titles.
Watching ESPN just now, coverage of the Australian Open, and the verbiage is all about age – “Serena is the oldest player to reach an Aussie final.” Falderal! Serena Williams is on a history-making journey to surpass her compatriots, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova , in the elite 18 Grand Slam club. And she is only one win away from doing just that.
Why then has this part of her competing in the 2015 grand slam down under been on mute? Simply unbelievable to me. Seems the greater Serena’s achievements the harder the media, specifically the US tennis media, attempts to devalue her greatness. They remain stuck on the power narrative when it comes to her. Will they ever acknowledge what they see when watching Serena play? She is a most intelligent player, which enables her to strategize and win? Overlooking Serena’s continuing dominance in her sport is plain out perplexing.
While in America the chat is all about “the changing of the guard”. It only took the World #1 two straight sets[7-6 (5), 6-2] in her match against fellow American Madison Keys to restore order and shut down that talking point.(Avenging her sister’s loss to Keys at the same time!) ShoutOut to Serena for her encouraging words to Madison after the match. [WATCH VIDEO]
Now I am thrilled for the rising young and obviously talented Keys who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal. That she is projected to make her top 20 debut is fantastic. Under new coach Lindsay Davenport I only expect continuing progress in her development.
Here me well now, I don’t begrudge her media attention, but it should not overshadow what winning this final means for Serena and history! And at same time it should not make Serena’s elder sister Venus an after thought as she will move up the rankings after this Grand Slam to maybe as high as top 10.
Truth is the Williams sisters, top two American women in the game, are not products of the USTA. Father Richard Williams chose, wisely as time has proven, not to put his child prodigies Venus and Serena under their tutelage. Could that fact possibly be at work here in what appears to be an eagerness to see a “Changing of the Guard?”
ESPN and the USTA are contractually bound at the hip and therefore responsible parties in what I see as disrespectful treatment of the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because the USTA is so desperate for legitimacy; with its failure in producing top tennis players that it experienced under the many years of Patrick McEnroe’s leadership? (Must have been one hellova contract that still keeps him in the booth at ESPN Tennis as a talking head!)
Venus and Serena remain perfect examples of positivity; no matter what swirls in the media. Most endearing to me is their close bond, it’s as if they understood that it would always indeed be them against the world!
And in the case of Serena it is astonishing to watch her transform her steadfast belief that she is the greatest – in match after match –where she mentally constructs a strategy, then physically delivers play, resulting in the defeat of whomever is on the other side of the net!
In her December interview with Chris Evert, Serena said she was hard at work fine tuning movement and improving her serve; and when asked about Graf’s record of #22 grand slams, she said she was going to go for the gusto this year.
And aren’t we the lucky ones, Serena does the hard work of fending off those attempting to dethrone her…and all we have to do is watch!
Now the Australian Open gets the sexy championship final match it was probably hoping for with Maria Sharapova versus Serena. Now Sharapova has lost every encounter with Serena since the 2004 Wimbledon. And again I fear the lead story will be all about the fighter coming for Serena and not Serena going for her 19th Grand Slam!
Let’s talk a bit more about history-making and grand slams; Serena has only lost four times in finals. This has her currently tied with Martina Navratilova (18-14) and Chris Evert (18-16) at fourth all-time. Beating Sharapova would place her alongside Helen Wills Moody (19-3), and behind only Margaret Smith Court (24-5) and Steffi Graf (22-9). That Williams continues her climb up the record accomplishments in women’s tennis at the age of 33 is beyond amazing, and frankly, my dear, I’m out of superlatives…OK.
Meanwhile as the tennis season continues I’ll be watching another game that’s being played – the Dodge-Ball game the tennis media is playing as Serena Williams continues her pursuit of Grand Slam #19 and beyond. Go get #19 Serena and let all the other damn games continue, then…LOL! ‘-)
Not through yet making history in women’s tennis – both Williams sisters made comebacks in their third round matches to move into the quarters at the 2015 Australian Open. First up was Venus who beat Camila Giorgi 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. Then little sister Serena came from a set down to beat Elina Svitolina 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. While both possess the most powerful/lethal serves ever seen in the game, their close bond continues to ‘serve‘ them best as they inspire one another to reach to the highest level of their ability!
Venus and Serena Speak of INSPIRATION
“…feels fantastic especially when things happen in your life that are not in your control,” Williams said in reference to her struggles with Sjogren’s syndrome, an incurable auto-immune disease that can cause joint pain and fatigue. “But I don’t want to stop now, I want to keep it going,” Venus added.
“She’s been through so much with her illness, with everything that she’s had to do,” Serena said. “Gosh, if she can do it, I’m perfectly healthy, I’m fine. I should be able to do it, too. It just got me so motivated.”
“I’ve been motivated by Serena though since day one, since ’97. She’s always been I think someone that anyone can learn from. The way she faces her life, the way she is fearless on the court,” Venus Williams said.
“I probably take it a lot more to heart because she’s my sister and we’ve had the fortunate relationship to be able to motivate each other and grow from each other. I don’t think I could have done the things I’ve done without her.”
GODSPEED VENUS AND SERENA…YOUR LIVES ARE AN INSPIRATION!
AND…YOU ARE KILLAZZZ IN BIKINIS TOO (here’s a reminder) ‘-) ‘-)
HEART OF A WARRIOR…best describes the two tennis titans – Venus and Serena Williams – individually and collectively!
So says the theme song of the documentary film about the sisters. (Venus and Serena’ – Features Music of Wyclef Jean: CLICK HERE→ http://wp.me/p1O3xi-Zh“)
Still doubtful though it seems are some in the tennis media and far too many in the twitter world.
Seems they are stuck on two themes: “When is Venus going to retire?” is one.
And when Serena doesn’t quickly vanquish a competitor, “Why is she off to such a slow start?”
Poised, charismatic and confident is how the Williams Sisters continue to face such continuing scrutiny. They voice a familiar theme ingrained by their parents when they were but young girls–coming to the court mentally focused to play ‘strategic’ tennis with one intention, that of winning it all!
What else when parents proclaimed as your destiny – becoming Number One and Number Two in women’s tennis?
And always they show their pure joy of playing the game they love.
Okay now, the World #1 Serena Williams, is supposedly shaking in her boots – excuse me, make that tennis sneakers – because soon she’ll be across the net from a player who in the words of ESPN Tennis Commentator Chris Fowler: “Gave her a beat down.”
True Garbine Muguruza beat the defending champion 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of last year’s French Open. At the same time Serena never found her rhythm in that match; finishing with 29 unforced errors and without her usual dominant serve, winning only 17-of-31 (55 percent) first-serve points.
“I don’t think anything worked for me,” said Williams. “It was one of those days. You can’t be on every day, and,
gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam. It happens.”
But when Roger Federer lost the other day (not playing at his best) ESPN devoted extra time to his post-match interview, bemoaning his early exit, never were terms like “he was stunned” or “beat down” uttered. Hmmmm.
(Now I’m a big fan of Fed but the significant difference shown the two tennis greats by ESPN has me shaking my head in dismay)!
DOUBT SERENA IF YOU WANT – BUT HERE’S A REMINDER
Two years ago when Serena lost to Virginie Razzano in the first round, it motivated her as never before. Proof is in the record books: she won Wimbledon, Olympic gold medals in singles and doubles in London, and the US Open over the next three months, and then she put the icing on the cake – ending the year with a title at the WTA Championships. And now
“I rest my case” – as Venus stated in an earlier interview during this year’s Aussie Open!
CONCERNING VENUS and THAT QUESTION of RETIREMENT
Seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams keeps proving that she’s got plenty left in her tennis tank and is now on an 8-0 run after winning the lead-up Auckland Classic.
Questions about her longevity were raised in 2011 when she was temporarily sidelined by Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease with potentially debilitating effects. Her play indicates that she is managing the condition as Venus tells of an off-season spent working very hard:
“I feel like I’m coming into the season as fit and healthy as I have in many years, so for me that’s exciting and I have a positive outlook.
My goal is to be like Serena Williams!”
Rather emphatically elder sister Venus let it be known that her focus is on winning more titles (she has 46 in her career). Asked her level of excitement about her wins, since she hasn’t been beyond the third round of a major since Wimbledon 2011, she states that she did not come to the Australian Open to just reach the fourth round.
“There is a scripture that says faith without works is dead,” Williams said. “So you have to have faith, but you have work, too. So, I’m doing both.”
Venus reflected more on where her game is, at this point in her career, when she granted Australian Open TV access during her training session ahead of her fourth round match.
And Serena, ever the supportive younger sister, had this to say in response to recurring questions from reporters about Venus:
“She’s in a good place,” explained Serena, whom Venus defeated the last time they played, last summer in a tournament in Canada. “She’s done so much in her career. She doesn’t have to win another match.”
Watch Video Below
Serena responds to those “slow-start questions” when she talked to the press after her win over Elina Svitolina in the third round.
Venus and Serena Williams:
a Profile of Charisma, Elegance, Grace and the Heart of a Champion
Tennis Royalty (Titles to Prove It!)
That time the Williams Sisters endorsed Nabisco Calorie Pack Snacks Diet Divas – See more at: Frank Herholdt shot the Nabisco campaign that featured Venus and Serena Williams!
Did you know the music of Wyclef Jean accompanies the film Venus and Serena which debuted September of 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Haitian-American ‘Renaissance Man’ who first came to fame as a member of The Fugees, but has since found solo success, and the sisters go way back. He explains…
“I have a great relationship with Venus. I did [the Sundance Channel series] ‘Iconoclasts’ with her, where I was teaching her guitar & she was teaching me how to play tennis. That’s where our relationship started, and then I wrote a song for Venus, ‘Venus (I’m Ready).’
Shortly after that he saw Serena in Miami, who walked up to him and said, ‘Where’s my song?’ To which he answered: ‘Don’t worry, your song is coming!
About the film, Wyclef went on to say: “So automatically, when it was time for the documentary, naturally they would find me, thanks to my relationship with Venus and my understanding of the struggle and where they came from. They knew I could contribute something.”
Listen to documentary Song written for Serena
“Heart of a Warrior”:
What the songwriter had in mind was to convey an understanding and feeling of struggle. In his own words he explains it this way:
“Even if someone is not into sports — when they hear this song —I wanted them to feel triumph.
That’s what I get from Serena and Venus. They’re excellent at what they do, they win a lot,
but the road has not been easy,” said Wyclef.
Documentary shows Williams sisters’ vulnerable sides as Serena and Venus revisit their climb to the top echelon of world tennis. Here is a clip from the Documentary: ‘Serena and Venus’ featuring among many others comments from tennis great John McEnroe and fashion guru Anna Wintour:
Good thing happens when two women who are members of the “Elite 18″ get together for a chat? ESPN was kind enough to make it happen, when Serena Williams sat with Chris Evert recently to discuss her goals for 2015. I found the interview quite wonderful, as Evert in a delightfully relaxed interview style, had Serena reflecting on this year; as well, as opening up about friendships, disappointments and the joys of the 2014 season.
The two even bantered quite jovially about meeting up on the tennis court someday. ”
“One time in my life I would love to hit a ball with you,” said Evert.
Which made Serena ponder the thought, before replying in her witty, winning way:
“It would be different to play someone who’s won 18 grand slams. I don’t know how I would feel. Do you want to play, Chrissie? Let’s play this weekend so I can feel how it feels.”
From the interview we are made privy to one of the many (but not often spoken of by the tennis media) reasons why Serena values deeply her friendship with Caroline Wozniacki. Though they both have tennis in common as a career pursuit, their journey to professional tennis play differs.
Serena shares that the friendship enables her to gain insight about junior tennis; where Caroline, like most women on tour, got her start.
“We talk about how things are different for different players growing up. For me and Venus, not playing junior tennis was good for us. I asked her, “What was it like to play the juniors?” I never knew Junior Wimbledon existed until I was a few years on tour, I’m embarrassed to say. I didn’t realize that there was actually a junior event.”
About 2015 and Changes in Her Game
We gain insight into the coach-player relationship Serena has with Patrick Mouratoglou. She began working with him shortly after an early exit from the 2012 French Open. Evert put his question to Serena: “You turned to Patrick Mouratoglou for some coaching, then had a dynamite year in 2013. What did he see in your game?”
“It wasn’t what he saw, it was just what he did. He didn’t make me feel like I was changing anything. I think my foundation was strong enough that we just added to it.”
“I was recently watching my old matches on YouTube. I found matches in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and I definitely have to say I think I’m a better player than I was then. I’m smoother. I move better on the court. I’m lighter on the court. My game looks a lot easier, like I’m not trying as hard. It’s a lot more effortless.”
Evert reminds the World#1 that going into last year, her expressed goal was to make fewer errors. Revealing her commitment to greatness in her game; Serena expounded in specifics about changes in her game that will be her focus in training.
“Well, I want to move a lot faster on the court. I want to be more dynamic and just completely awesome out there. And I need to bring my serve back. My serve in 2014 was a little disappointing for me. I want my 2013 serve back, but a better version of that for 2015. I had so many double faults this year: I was hitting, like, seven in a match, and it was driving me insane.”
Enjoy reading the full interview at espnW’s Impact 25 and ESPN The Magazine’s Interview.
As for me and the 2015 tennis season…can’t wait! Having reached the record 18 grand slams and joining Navratilova and Evert in that elite club; Serena expressed her perspective on winning more grand slams and perhaps reaching the ultimate…22.
Chris Evert: “Eighteen Grand Slams now. You’re in the club. How much further can you go?”
“Serena Williams: Well, it’s no secret. I’m going for the gusto. I’m going to try to catch up with Steffi (Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam titles). But right now I’m really focused on 19, which will begin in Australia. Whether I get there or not, I don’t know. But I know if I get to 19, the second it happens I will be thinking of 20.”
Note to Serena: Your legion of fans have nothing but faith in you accomplishing that which you desire! And I know I speak for many when I say: wish it – you on court – would never end!