Serena Williams’ legacy is bigger than her tennis exploits

NBA world gives props to tennis legend Serena Williams

It’s safe to say that such a third round match has never happened at the US Open. This was not an initial one. This was the main event.

And when it was over, when the drama-filled, high-quality competition ended as no one around wanted it, Serena Williams effectively said goodbye to the game she played for two years. For more than one has cast such a vast shadow. In the decades since Australia lost 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 to her staunch rival Alja Tomljanovic.

Serena Williams will not be missing. It will simply take over other areas of our senses. She will continue to be a role model for those for whom she opened doors to great adventures, not just tennis. She will continue to make a difference, just as she and older sister Venus have since the turn of the century.

“I wouldn’t be Serena if it weren’t for Venus,” the younger sister said in an on-court interview shortly after the match. “She’s the only reason Serena Williams ever existed.”

The crowd was not as rowdy, raucous and intimidating as they were on Wednesday through Serena’s three-set victory over second seed Annette Kontaveit, before each of the six match points facing Williams roared in full swing. Started. Final game Friday.

When, at last, his final shot went into the net, there was silence. It took a moment to process it. With the handshake (though that left the youngest of doubts as to whether she would play a worthwhile event again), such was the career of Serena Williams.
Soundtrack Cue: Tina Turner’s “You’re Simply the Best.” Cue one last turn.

“I have such a bright future ahead of me,” Williams, 40, later said. “Technically in the world, I’m very young, so I want to live a little bit of life while still moving.”

The match was a heavyweight match. Williams served 5–3 for the first set, then lost straight games. She led 5-2 with four set points on Tomljanovic’s serve and was forced to call for a tiebreak. Williams broke his opponent in the first game of the third set and then broke himself three times in the set.

Six times in the seventh game of the final set, he faced match point – career point. She said, nevermind, did she think it was possibly the end point of her career.

“I’ve gone down before. I’ve been down 5-1 before and come back, I guess,” she said. “I don’t give up. I certainly didn’t give up tonight. that’s what I was thinking. Just keep fighting.”

Williams hadn’t played for a year, so it’s not like her absence from the tour would come as a sudden blow. But there would be a huge void in celebrity. A huge void in the reach of the casual fan. And of course a huge void will have to be filled in the second week of this tournament, which this week turned out to be a pilgrimage for Serena and her career.

It was a career that he himself honored with high drama that rocked the house that pioneers Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe built brick by brick.

I’ve come a long way since Wimbledon last year,” Williams said, referring to the 2021 tournament, from which he was forced to withdraw seven games from his first-round match with a torn hamstring. “I just wasn’t sure whether that was my last moment or not. It’s much better to make it a separate moment.

“It takes a lot of work to get there. Clearly I’m still capable. It takes a lot more than that. I’m ready to be a mom and figure out a different version of Serena.”

Serena isn’t an American icon just because she was as good as anyone who has ever picked up a racket. He is an icon because he meant and what he represented to so many outposts and so many of our communities. She lives in one. That tag doesn’t come with an expiration date.

He hasn’t always been hugged in the open. She won the Open title six times, but also behaved abusively in conversations with court officials to allow critics to paint her with a brush that doesn’t apply to other rookies. But this week, there was full hugs and showers of love and admiration that echoed across the field.

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