archive

Serena Williams the G.O.A.T

Shams Jahangir-Arshad

Sports Editor

The 2022 U.S. The Women’s Open was the last career Major tournament appearance in the illustrative career of Serena Williams. Concluding this tournament the amazing career of Serena Willams will come to an end. 

In her first round matchup she faced off against Danka Kovinic who is from Montenegro. In this match Serena would get off to the early lead and never look back. She would take the first set 6-3, and get off to a hot start in the 2nd set leading 5-3 before leading the last game 40-0 and taking the last point to secure her first round win in 2 straight sets 6-3, 6-3 which would advance her into the 2nd round against world #2 Anett Kontaveit. 

In the 2nd round all odds were stacked against Serena facing world #2 Anett Kontaveit, and she would play a vintage match for the ages. At first the two

 competitors were sharp and would go back and forth trading games. This would drive the first set into a 6-6 tie. This led into a tiebreaker to end the first set, which Serena would dominate and win 7-4. This would give her the first set and leave her one set away from winning the match. The 2nd set was a different story, as Anett Kontaveit took control showing her world #2 ability and cruising to a 6-2 2nd set win, which would lead to a 3rd set showdown. The third set would be Serena’s set getting out to the early lead. She would be up 5-2 needing one more game win to the set and advance to the 3rd round. With Kontaveit looking visibly frustrated, and thrown off her game due to the crowd being so loud and pulling so hard for Serena, she would dig a deep hole for herself falling behind 40-0 in the game. Serena needing one more point to advance smashed a serve which was softly bounce back by Kontaveit which allowed Serena to play an aggressive shot and win the point, with the crowd erupting into a frenzy friends, family, and fans from all over celebrating as Serena had won and knocked off world #2 to advance to the 3rd round. This win will be remembered as one of the greatest moments in US Open history with the size of the crowd and the excitement surrounding Serena. 

“Serena’s win in the 2nd round was my favorite moment in this US Open.” Said San Marcos teacher Mrs.Willbanks. “Serena sharing about how she is starting to come around and find form and she was becoming a better player every match she played gave me hope that she could possibly continue her doubles career.”

The day after this amazing win she would compete in doubles with her sister Venus Willams. This was the first time the two would play together in doubles in any major since 2018. This match was played against Linda Nosková, and Lucie Hradecka, two top players from Czech. This match would have a super tight first set 6-6 which would lead to a tiebreaker round in which Venus would underperform and the sisters would lose the tiebreaker. In the 2nd set the Czech team would dominate and cruise to a 6-4 set win. Winning the match in straight sets and knocking the sisters out of the doubles section of the tournament. Though the sisters did not perform up to their standards they were inspiring to watch and had people on the edge of their seat during their careers playing doubles together.

The next day Serena would go into her 3rd round matchup against Ajla Tomljanović From Australia this match would be played at Arthur Ashe Stadium and have a record attendance of 41930 people. This match would go back and forth during the 1st set trading games before Tomljanović would eventually come out on top winning the set 7-5. The 2nd set would be more of the same trading games having multiple games over 15 minutes in length with no one wanting to budge. This would lead to the set tying 6-6 and heading into a tiebreaker. With the crowd on the edge of their seats pulling as hard as they could in Serena’s favor. She would come through and deliver, winning the tiebreaker and sending the crowd into a frenzy. The 3rd set would begin and it looked like the fairytale story would live on with Serena taking the first game and jumping out to a 40-15 lead in the 2nd game. This is when the whole momentum of the match would change. Tomljanović would storm back and win the game tying it at 1-1, she wouldn’t look back after this, winning the next 4 games in a row in dominant fashion. This was due in large part to the length of the match as it had exceeded well over 2 hours. Everyone watching on TV and in attendance could see that Serena was running out of gas and had very little left to give, which was favoring the younger Tomljanović. With a 5-1 lead in the set Tomljanović looked to put Serena away for the last time. This game would go back and forth, 40-40, and having over 15 AD. Serena just wouldn’t give up continually digging herself out of the hole, but finally after over 15 minutes the game would come to an end, when Serena hit her return from Tomljanović into the net concluding the match. As the match ended the crowd cheered loudly appreciating the greatness they saw for the last time on the court. As Serena hugged her opponent and gathered her things she was interviewed. She was asked if she would ever come back and if this was really it with her answering “I don’t think so, but you never know. I don’t know.” She would also go on to thank her parents, and her coaches. Then she would save the biggest thank you for her sister Venus saying “that there would be no Serena without Venus.” As her interview concluded she walked off the court for the last time of her career giving one last wave as the crowd erupted sending her off in grand fashion. 

Serena’s career may be over but we should all look back and appreciate all of the things she overcame to accomplish what she did. She has won the most grand slam titles in the Open Era, the oldest ever grand slam champion, won a grand slam while being pregnant, won multiple Olympic gold medals, won the Golden slam in 2012, won the “Serena Slam,”was the number one player in the world for 186 weeks. As we look back at all of the amazing accomplishments she has made on the court we must acknowledge all of the things she overcame to even make it to where she is today. She grew up in the community of Compton located in Los Angeles and would have to struggle everyday just to find a tennis court to be able to practice on. In the movie “King Richard” it shows her childhood and all of the pain and hardship she went through to become the person and player she is today. It shows her dad getting in fights, protecting her from the gangs around the area, and then going and practicing in the pouring rain. It also shows the racism they went through just to be able to participate in tournaments. She went through so much to be able to make it this far further proving how amazing she truly is. Now retired, Serena will take the next steps in her life saying she wants to have another kid and focus on other things she loves outside of tennis. We wish her the best moving forward and leave you with this quote.

“Luck has nothing to do with it, I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” – Serena Willams

SHAMS JAHANGIR-ARSHAD

Sports Editor

Categories: archive, archived content