Often throughout Serena Williams’ career, we have seen her success stem from her critics’ doubts. Despite being booed by an American crowd and facing other hate comments, she has always dismissed those questioning her worth on and off the court, from winning tournaments to speaking out against racist and sexist comments. However, the question all tennis fans are wondering is will Williams be able to pull it off again? Is she able to prove to all her critics that she is still as good at the game as she once was?
I believe that the hardships Williams persevered through over the past few years will make her stronger, and more successful, in the long run.
Since Williams returned from her maternity leave in 2018, she has not won a Grand Slam tournament. The Grand Slam tournaments are four of the most important, annual tournaments in tennis. More specifically, they are the U.S. Open, French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon. Williams’ inability to win these Grand Slam tournaments has raised debates over whether she should retire from tennis or not. I believe that Williams should not retire anytime soon because she has a goal to win 24 Grand Slams, she inspires so many athletes, and the no-brainer: she is still really good.
Williams’ main goal and motivation to continue to play tennis is to win a 24th Grand Slam and be tied with Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam wins, according to theGrio; I do not think that she should retire until she fulfills this one goal. Williams already has the most Grand Slam wins in the Open Era of tennis. The Open Era began in 1968 and made winning tennis records harder and more significant because amateur players were allowed to compete in the Grand Slam tournaments before this era. Court had an advantage over Williams since she won 13 of her titles before the Open Era. That being said, Williams is already widely regarded as the best female tennis player of all time, but another Grand Slam win would be a nice addition to her long list of achievements.
Secondly, Williams has motivated women of all ages to pursue tennis. An example of this is Naomi Osaka, a professional tennis player from Japan. According to “Vogue” magazine, Osaka, who is currently the second best female singles player in the world, has stated that her career was inspired by Williams and her sister, Venus Williams. Serena Williams has encouraged many to keep playing they are passionate about, even if it is not tennis.
Williams is still a very talented player, even if she does not return to her pre-2018 form. Though she has not won any Grand Slams since returning from her maternity leave, she was still the runner-up in 2018 and 2019 for both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Currently, she is ranked seventh in the world, a major improvement from the No. 453 rank she had when she returned from her maternity leave. Her dedication to the game has helped her reach the top seven in the world, which shows that Williams still has the ability to compete with the best players. With this much improvement over the course of only 3 years, Williams shows her determination to return to the top of the leaderboard, and possibly win another Grand Slam. Williams continually performed at a high level this past year, hitting 178 aces in the 20 matches she played in 2020, according to the Women’s Tennis Association (W.T.A.). This was more aces than any of the other top 100 female singles players in the world during that year.
Williams’ determination to win is still evident through the shots she serves and returns. Even if she never wins her 24th Grand Slam and her stats worsen over the years, Williams is, and always will be, an inspiration and legend to future generations.