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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Serena Williams is Super Special

Serena Williams celebrate
Serena celebrates the 2015 Wimbledon title
Hot takes are all the rage in the information age.  But, there once was a time when the public would wait days and even weeks to hear and share thoughts on a sports topic.  I am old enough to remember those times.  So is Serena Williams.  So, despite the passing of a little time since she last made headlines, I want to pay homage to the greatest female athlete of all time.

Yes, I said it.  Serena Williams is the greatest female athlete of all time.  I know that is a bold statement.  Before I get deeper into this discussion, I want to say that I was not always a Serena fan.  I have praised her on this blog in the past, but as the older sister in my family, if I was cheering for a Williams sister, I was cheering for Venus.  But, over the past few years, the greatness of Serena has been undeniable.  And, perhaps more importantly, the sheer joy she exhibits on the court embodies what sports are supposed to be.

On July 9, 2016, at the ancient tennis age of 34, Serena Williams won the women's title at Wimbledon for the 7th time.  The victory gave Serena her 22nd career major victory.  That put Serena in a tie with the iconic Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam victories of all time.  Tying that record in this era is truly astounding.  The field in women's tennis during Serena's career is far deeper than it was in Graf's day.  As if the singles championship was not enough work for one day, Serena returned to the court later in the afternoon to capture the doubles championship with her sister Venus.  This was the fourth time that Serena won both of those prestigious titles in the same day.

Although it is a Wimbledon victory that prompted this post, Serena Williams is by no means just a grass court specialist.  Serena has won on all surfaces.  In fact, she has captured the Serena Slam twice in her career.  The most amazing part of that is that those magical years were separated by more than a decade.

I realize that recency bias is a plague of the sports blogosphere, but this declaration of Serena's greatness has been over a decade in the making.  I am not going to defend this declaration by tearing down the accomplishments of others.  Instead, I just want to take a moment to recognize the greatness of Serena Williams before it is over.

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