Tennis

Two-Sides to Every Coin

It’s been echoed throughout social media, and most of the world now knows it.
Serena Williams has lost her bid at the 2015 US Open title…gasps!
Yep, Serena was knocked out in the semifinals today to an Italian player named, Roberta Vinci.
This was a huge upset. Serena had a lot riding on the line. She was going for seven US Open titles, 22 grand slams, and the calendar slam. She didn’t win today, but life still goes on. She’s human and infallible. But one thing that I’ve learned about Serena is that whenever she’s knocked down, you can best believe she will stand up and rise taller than she did before.
Moreover, I always try to find the positive in situations that would otherwise have you focusing on the negative. First, I’d like to congratulate Serena for winning 3 grand slams this year, which helped her to earn her second Serena slam (four straight majors in a row.) People can argue over the technicality of her not completing that feat in a single calendar year, but at the end of the day, she’s still a champion. Second, had Serena won tomorrow, who’s to say that she would still have the drive to keep going. When you accomplish something of that magnitude, sometimes you don’t have the drive to keeping going forward, because you don’t want to tarnish the legacy you’ve built. We’ll never know whether or not she would have continued to compete or if she would have retired like she joked she would if she had won. But, I know that now Serena will return to the majors next year not feeling the same pressure she felt this year. This loss may propel her career to greater heights. Losing has always brought out the best in her and I have no doubt that she will rise up from this and soar again.
I’ve said this in private and tweeted about it a while ago, but I really think Serena is definitely going to retire with at least 25 majors under her belt. And if I’m really being ambitious and she stays healthy and wants it, 29 may even be in her cards. Either way, there are more victories for our girl to win. Let’s focus on the great things she’s already done.
I’ve been to the Open before and want to visit again. Hope to see you there next year, Serena!
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World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka Wins The Australian Open

1390736953010-GTY-465148473Wawrinka defeated an injured Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open and his first Grand Slam championship.  Wawrinka’s road to victory was no easy feat as he needed to take out two of the world’s top tier players, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win. This has solidified Wawrinka as an emerging player and has also halted the reign of the Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, whom each won the last 34 of 35 Grand Slam tournaments.

Congratulations to Wawrinka for never surrendering and proving to the world that the underdog can be victorious.

Age Ain’t A Factor; Li Na Wins Australian Open At 31

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Congratulations to the Chinese born tennis player Li Na, who just secured her second Grand Slam tennis championship by winning the Australian Open.

Li Na proved once again that age isn’t a factor when she took on a much younger and fresher opponent, Dominika Cibulkova and defeated her 7-6 6-0.

I’m elated to see Li Na hoist the trophy, as she lost in the finals of the Australian Open in 2011 to Kim Clijsters and in 2013 to Victoria Azarenka. Fans across the world and obviously of course in her home country of China are rejoicing with her in her victory.

The tennis star will turn 32 next month but shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Boycott Over? Serena enters into the Indian Wells Tournament After 12 year hiatus

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Serena Williams has not competed at the tournament since the horrific booing incident of 2001. Her and Venus were expected to play each other during the semifinals match. However, at the last minute Venus withdrew, citing injury to her wrist. Serena received a bye to the next round. When she walked on the court to take on Kim Clijsters, the crowd erupted in loud bantering and booing. As she warmed up and throughout the match, fans taunted her. Cheering when she missed a shot or hit a ball into the next. During change overs Serena would throw her towel over her head and cry. Determined not to lose, Serena stuck it out and was able to win the match in three sets 4-6 6-4 6-2. Fans booed as she walked onto the court to collect her prize money and hold her winning trophy. Serena was 19 at the time and still very impressionable. She could not understand why the fans had been giving her such a hard time. Venus was injured and was in no shape to perform. Why would they be upset over that?

For some fans it was enough to warrant bad behavior. They threw out all sorts of racial slurs and epithets to the Williams family. Claiming that the family staged their matches and Venus dropping out of the tournament at the last minute was all a ploy to advance Serena’s career. Venus had been more dominant on the tour even though Serena had won the family their first grand slam.

I could understand how her dropping out of the tournament last minute could have made fans angry. If I was expecting to see the Williams sisters play and at the last minute the match up was changed, I too would be upset. Especially given the prices I would have to pay for a ticket. However, racial slurs and epithets are no remedy for the situation. Regardless of whether Venus was faking or not.

Serena expressed her desire to reconcile her differences with the Indian Wells Open, now titled BNP Paribas, during a press conference early last week in Australia. Serena stated that the life and legacy of the late Nelson Mandela was a contributing factor in her decision to enter the tournament.

Serena Williams has already been dubbed as an overreacting player who allows her emotions to get the best of her. Why would she willingly put herself in that position again? She would practically be giving people the forum to jeer her back into an angry place. We have seen her passions erupt at the US Open twice, once in ’09 and again in ’11. The media had a field day with her. She became the laughing stock of the sports and entertainment world. Fans across the world took to social media to share their opinions. Some opinions were meant to soothe the frustrations that some people had with her outburst. Other comments were racially tinged and used purposefully to fuel the fire.

Serena will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, women’s tennis player in history. Williams has 17 grand slam titles and Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles with sister Venus. Her competing in this tournament again will not make or break her career.

The Indian Wells tournament is a top tier event in which many of the world’s best tennis players compete. But, Serena going back to play at that tournament would be like a foodie going back to a four star restaurant after experiencing prejudicial service, solely because it’s a four star restaurant. Why would you willingly subject yourself to that situation again when there are plenty of other restaurants to patronize? Serena could opt out of this tournament as she has done the past 12 years and still come out a champion. This one tournament will not make or break her ranking or hurt her bank account. Sure the extra prize money would be nice. But why risk your dignity and self worth over a coin? Sure some people may argue that the past is the past, and that she should just get over it and move on but it is not as easy as many would like to believe.

Only time will tell if Serena will actually end her boycott of the  \tournament when it kicks off March 3, 2014. If Serena does compete, her sweetest vindication will not come from just competing but from winning. Hoisting that shiny trophy above her head and smiling at the sea of fans in the crowd will be the icing on the cake.