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Tears of Hope for Tennis Fans

28 Jun

Serena Williams lost at Wimbledon yesterday in the fourth round.  Since cutting her foot on glass at a party last year she’s had several surgeries and almost lost her life to blood clots.  Having only played one tournament prior to Wimbledon, it’s no huge surprise she didn’t win it all.  What was surprising was her reaction to winning her first round match.

At the :28 second mark in the video Serena says, “I love tennis.”  She’s a world class tennis player but this is the first time I’ve ever believed that she loves tennis.  I always thought Serena, and her sister Venus, played because they were good at it not necessarily because they enjoyed it.  By now everyone knows the story of Richard Williams getting the idea that he would have two daughters and train them to be tennis players.  Venus and Serena were essentially bred to play tennis. Under Richard’s tutelage, they become young phenoms but they were never fully embraced by the tennis tour.  Richard sheltered them and kept them separated from the rest of the stars, and his presence cast a shadow over the girls that it took years to try to overcome.  They never played the full circuit and Serena has been famous for playing her way into shape in Grand Slam tournaments.  It often seemed she used her injuries as an excuse to take breaks away from the sport.  The Williams’ sisters have always talked about their interests outside of the sport.  It was almost as if they wanted to use their stardom in tennis to springboard them into their other careers.  Serena has tried acting, design, and even went to cosmetology school to study nails.  Tennis seemed like nothing more than a job, not much different than the 9-5 that most of us toil through as a means to an end.

It’s refreshing to know that Serena loves the sport that she’s been a dominant figure in for more than a decade.  But it seems sad that she’s come to this realization after having been forced out of it for so long.  What’s worse is she seems to have recognized this as she approaches her 30th birthday, which is considered elderly by women’s tennis standards.  One can only hope she turns this into determination to get back on top one last time before her tennis career is over.  I sincerely hope she cares enough.

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2 Comments

Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Alba

 

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2 responses to “Tears of Hope for Tennis Fans

  1. Tayree

    June 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Hey, it’s Tayree. Love ur posts.

    I never believed that Venus & Serena just played because they were good at it. I think many chastised them for being cold because of the choices their father made as a coach. HE always believed his girls were above the rest and isolated them from other players. He didn’t want bad training and delivery habits to rub off on his girls. He’d say, if my girls r better, why practice or play with sub par players.

    I think it was genius to say to the girls (when they were kids) don’t get burned out playing the numbers for rankings. I remember back in the day, when such controversy errupted when Michael Stich became #1 by (I believe) the US Open. He accomplished this not by winning a single major, but by playing as many tournaments as he could enter and winning points that way. V&S NEVER had to do such a thing. Hardcore as it was, their father made them machines.

    Finally, tennis, as in life chastises women who r not emotionally expressive as other female players. They got on Mary Pierce, V&S, Justine Hardent (howeve u spell), Martina Nav., and many others. Still, Pete Samprass, Federa and a host of other male players never seem to be questioned bout their personal or love of the sport…

    I can’t imagine having to face a career ending, life or death experience twice. I agree with u that I hope she can recover from this. Cuz quite frankly, there aren’t a ton of exciting women to watch in tennis right now. There were a lot of new faces to Wimbeldon this year. I hope for more than 1 or 2 powerhouses come out this batch.

    Tennis is on a decline. I remember back when HBO dedicated a station to 24/7 coverage of Wimbeldon. They stopped. I remember, when I could come home to ESPN2 & watch the late afternoon to 1am matches. This year, I only saw the weekend broadcasts. America needs Serena n the sport, cuz as american players decrease, so does coverage. Taking away coverage will kill what love remains for people like Serena and the sport in general…

     
  2. shawn

    June 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Actually I think age is playing a factor with them like Tiger Woods. They both played a power game instead of more of a finesse game. I don’t think the competition is fearful of them anymore thus the fall off.

     

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