New Yorkers have one final probability to see the nice Serena Williams play dwell at Arthur Ashe Stadium because the US Open will get underway this week, beginning together with her Monday match in opposition to Danka Kovinic. She’ll additionally compete within the doubles, partnered with older sister Venus.
With 23 championships below her belt — she gained her first Grand Slam event, the 1999 US Open, at 17 — the GOAT is stepping away from the game she dominated for over 20 years. Extra, she made tennis recent, thrilling and dramatic, drawing youthful eyes to the sport.
The legendary Billie Jean King, who first met Serena as a 7-year-old, referred to as her serve “essentially the most stunning within the historical past of our sport” and cited the “musical rhythm” of her play.
Add to that the distinctive nature of the sisters’ rise: They received their begin on the Compton, Calif., public courts however (as seen in “King Richard,” the movie depicting their childhood, on which they served as govt producers) skipped the standard youth tournaments earlier than their thunderous entry to professional competitors.
Notably, in 2002, Serena gained the French Open, US Open and Wimbledon, defeating Venus within the finals of every. She gained her final Grand Slam in 2017, whereas two months pregnant with daughter Olympia.
Serena’s expertise made her a champion, however her confidence made her a cultural icon: She was hypnotizing to look at, protecting audiences on the fringe of her seat together with her drive and tenacity, usually getting back from the brink of defeat to win matches.
She’s now being coy about precisely when she’ll fully retire, however she made it plain in a Vogue essay that she’s nearly executed: “I must be two toes into tennis or two toes out,” she wrote. And, at 41, “two toes in” will now not work with motherhood.
Whereas “two toes out” permits an “evolution” that will even let her concentrate on Serena Ventures, her enterprise capital agency, and different pursuits. Her file and character recommend new triumphs lie forward.
She’s pleased with her tennis achievements, and of opening doorways for future gamers, she notes in Vogue. And “I hope that folks come to consider me as symbolizing one thing greater than tennis.” That a lot appears assured.