1. I think that this is the best win of Serena’s career. I realize that’s a bold statement, and I know that hyperbolic statements are a clutch for tennis writers everywhere, but I really and honestly believe it. I wrote about it for Bleacher Report, but I thought I would expand on that a bit here.
The fact that she won the French Open again at the age of 31 after an 11-year drought at the tournament is just absolutely, positively phenomenal. On top of that, she didn’t win it by getting a cupcake draw. She beat two former champions along the way, as well as one of the top clay court players on tour, Sara Errani.
She survived a lapse in form and a topsy-turvy match against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals, played absolutely perfect tennis to obliterate Sara Errani in the semifinals, and survived a tough test from an in-form Sharapova in the final. She won in every way she needed to. She was not going to be stopped.
At this point in her career it would have been easy to focus just on the surfaces that best suit her game, but that’s not the way Serena Williams operates. I’m not saying that she didn’t work hard for her other slams–obviously she did. But she worked harder for this one.
To care that much, to be able to motivate yourself that much and work that hard and make the necessary changes in your training and your game after 15 Grand Slams? That’s pretty incredible, and in my opinion it sets this win apart from the rest.
2. When everyone talks about Serena, they focus on her power, and rightly so–it’s impressive. But what continues to amaze me every time I’ve watch her lately is her movement and point construction. I’ve always thought of Venus as the graceful sister, because of the way she prances around grass. But Serena’s balance, aggression, and versatility should be recognized as grace. She hardly took a wrong or wasted step all tournament.
It’s offensive and downright wrong to talk about Serena like she’s a one-note ball-basher. Everyone can stop now.
3. I was incredibly impressed by Maria Sharapova today. She played some of her best tennis and really made Serena work for it. She’s now more consistent than she ever was before her shoulder surgery. This is the first time she’s gotten back to a final the year after winning a Grand Slam, and I think it proves that she is going to be in contention on a regular basis for years to come.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to face an opponent who has defeated you 12 times in a row. If Serena’s level had dropped even for a minute, Sharapova might have found a way to take this match. She’s not going let her failures against Serena keep her from going out there and giving it her all every single time.
We’re pretty lucky to have her.
4. Some tweets I loved:
did you know that Serena Williams after having won 1st set she won 208 matches and lost only 5? #RG13
— Ubaldo Scanagatta (@Ubitennis) June 8, 2013
Serena: "I think I've always said a champion isn't about how much they win but it's about how they recover from their downs."
— Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) June 8, 2013
Q. Have you ever thought of retiring at your peak like Greta Garbo? SERENA: Wow, what an analogy, me and Greta Garbo. Wow, thank you.
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) June 8, 2013
— Power Forward (@PwrFwdBlog) June 8, 2013
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 8, 2013
Serena Williams not only swept her clay season: she also swept the trophy ceremonies in 3 different languages. She's extraordinary.
— Juan José Vallejo (@juanjo_sports) June 8, 2013
Gone Serena gone! So inspiring! I was so nervous, lol #serenafrenchopenchampion2013
— Venus Williams (@Venuseswilliams) June 8, 2013
Serena Williams has won 16 slams, AND a double Career Grand Slam in singles AND doubles, AND four gold medals. AND she's not close to done.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 8, 2013
5. We’ve spent so much time over the last few years debating Federer vs. Nadal as the GOAT, but what about Serena? She just keeps getting better with age, and I think it would be a shock if she finished without 20 Grand Slams. As the legend grows, so should the accolades.
She currently holds the Wimbledon, Olympics, U.S. Open, WTA Championships and now French Open titles all at once. Oh, and the Wimbledon and Olympics doubles titles too. Absolutely ridiculous. She is The Queen.