Five thoughts on Serena Williams’s fifth Wimbledon title.
Between them, these Californian sisters now have 10 Wimbledon singles titles; there is no more astonishing story in tennis than the Williams family. Throughout her life, Serena has always wanted what her older sister Venus has, and now she has matched her on five Wimbledon titles (“I’ve copied you again, V”). Such an accumulation of replica trophies would be remarkable enough, but then consider that, a little over a year ago, Serena was in hospital in Los Angeles after having emergency treatment to remove a blood clot from her lung. No wonder there was emotion. The watching Lindsay Davenport said she had never seen Serena as emotional after winning a grand slam title as she was on Centre Court after winning her fourteenth major, and her first since the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
John McEnroe is not the only one who contends that Serena is the greatest female player of all time. So Serena lost in the first round of the French Open; this is how she responded.
This was a win for the thirty-somethings – Serena is trying to stay young (“mentally, I’m, like, 12 or 13 and that helps”). It was ten years ago that Serena won her first Wimbledon, and she’s still going. Serena was the first thirty-something to win the women’s title since a 33-year-old Martina Navratilova was the champion in 1990.
Agnieszka Radwanska, who afterwards sat on her chair blowing her nose, was rightly proud of the performance she turned in, for making a match of this. The Pole had felt unwell for several days before her first slam final. She took Serena to three sets. Winning the match, and becoming the world number one, was beyond her. But she has played some fine, thoughtful tennis this fortnight.
Memo to Gilles Simon: this has been an entertaining women’s tournament.