By Sandra Harwitt
It could be fair to ask what it says about La Serena Williams when she’s 33-years-old, hindered by the flu, and still remains untouchable?
Yes, it’s La Serena writing again, and I’m posing that question to all of the tennis fans out there. And pardon me, in advance, for having the sniffles while I write to you.
Here’s La Serena’s opinion that states the truth as she knows it. La Serena’s the best in this business, and whether playing at her best or not, it’s still nearly impossible to beat the world No. 1. That nice Lucie Safarova just tried to beat me in three sets, but it wasn’t happening. La Serena won it 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-1 and now owns 20 Grand Slam titles.
Now that La Serena won the Australian Open and French Open people are talking about the possibility she can finally win a calendar Grand Slam. She’s won all four in a row in her career – they named that a Serena Slam, that’s what they call it, and I like it? And let’s not forget that La Serena is on a three in a row run right now – 2014 U.S. Open, 2015 Australian Open and 2015 French Open. So if Wimbledon goes well, which it hasn’t since winning a fifth Wimbledon title in 2012, a second La Serena Slam will be in the books.
But, hey, a calendar Grand Slam would be nice, for sure. And there’s no reason they can’t rename that a La Serena Calendar Grand Slam, is there?
“(I’m) three quarters of the way to a Serena slam,” La Serena told the media. “I don’t know if it will be more special if I make a Grand Slam. I think it will be awesome, but at the end of the day it’s going to be — it’s pretty awesome to have 20. Obviously, I would love to win a Grand Slam.”
They asked that nice Lucie Safarova what she thinks about my winning the calendar Grand Slam. She knows I can do it, how could she not?
La Serena listened in to Lucie’s press conference while winding down in the lockerroom and here’s what she had to say to that question: “Well, she’s a great player. She has obviously the experience. She won all those Grand Slams already. I think she can do it. If she’s on her best and great shape, she playing the best tennis.”
Maybe La Serena can do it even if she’s not playing her best tennis and feeling poorly. Who is going to stop me?
“I really wanted it,” La Serena said to the media about winning this French Open. “I wanted to win so bad. It probably topped for my most difficult time to win, but also makes me feel good that I was able to be fit and be able to win the event.”
La Serena did mention she wasn’t all that sure she could play this final on Sunday with how badly she was feeling. But then La Serena remembered she’s a doer not a quitter.
“It’s been a nightmare 48 hours,” La Serena told reporters. “I barely made it home (after my last match). Took a hot shower, I went to bed, and then I didn’t leave bed until like 4:00 or 5:00 yesterday….I was just like, ‘Okay, I have been playing for over 30 years. I know I can at least play tennis. After that, I just went out to play a match.”
I know there are those out there that think La Serena hasn’t been all that sick, but I can tell you that’s just not true. It’s not great having to play tennis when you feel like crap. But a champion must be a champion – there’s no excuse to lose, not even cold, cough, fever should receive consideration.
Do you know that La Serena ended up having to play five three-set matches at this tournament. Unheard of, really. La Serena’s only once before lost three three-set matches in a row, and that was at the 1999 U.S. Open, which La Serena won for a first Grand Slam trophy.
The final was La Serena’s 12th three-set match this year. Yup, La Serena did it, she won all 12 for a perfect record. She likes perfection, she really does.
So, being La Serena you have to be good in math to keep track of all your achievements. So here’s the lowdown. Today, La Serena won a third career French Open title, a 20th career Grand Slam title. Oh boy, La Serena is inching towards Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam singles title, and getting closer to Margaret Courts’ 24. Could be just a matter of time, but La Serena doesn’t like people to think she’s not humble so she isn’t boasting too much.
Hey, here’s another little factoid – La Serena’s hoping to see you all soon at Wimbledon – Does No. 21 await on the lawns of SW19?