ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats - TennisForum.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2011, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 40,129
                     
ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:

Don't doubt Serena Williams' comeback





In November, her foot in a cast, this summer's dominance might have seemed inconceivable.


AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezLooks like Williams' comeback is in perfect sync for the U.S. Open in a couple of weeks.



The question was bouncing around even before Serena Williams won two straight tournaments and arrived at the Western & Southern Open in suburban Cincinnati this week looking as if she is perfectly timing her comeback to crescendo at the upcoming U.S. Open. In fact, the question was put to her directly a month ago, when she first came back from a 49-week layoff caused by serious illness and injuries and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon. And after she lost to Marion Bartoli there, Williams gave the suggestion all the respect it deserved -- which is to say, very little.


Reporter: "A lot of people would say if you come here after the best part of the year out of the game and walked away with the title, it wouldn't have necessarily have been a good thing for women's tennis. Can you appreciate that? Does this result show [women's tennis] is competitive still?"


Williams, scoffing: "Yeah, I'm super happy that I lost -- 'Go, women's tennis.'"
Perfect.
Williams was right to use an overhead smash to smack away the idea that the "lousy" state of the women's tennis tour -- and not her remarkable ability -- is what has allowed her to bounce back. Instead of giving her credit for rebounding from an 11-month absence caused by two foot surgeries, then a scary emergency procedure in March for a pulmonary embolism (doctors removed blood clots from both lungs), Williams has to hear that what she's doing now isn't all that special? Forget that.
The men's tour isn't being disparaged as top-to-bottom awful during Novak Djokovic's spectacular 53-1 record this year. Roger Federer didn't have to hear his opponents diminished this badly in his invincible years, either.


The women's tour is not as deep or as demonstrably good right now as it was when Serena and Venus, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati and Amelie Mauresmo -- Grand Slam winners, all -- were playing. Those were some good old days, all right.
But if you didn't notice, Serena was winning most of her 13 Grand Slam singles titles then, too.


So the notion that Williams' dominance might somehow be bad for tennis is a peculiar question. The thought certainly didn't float up when Tiger Woods was dominating the PGA Tour, or Michael Jordan was ruling the NBA, or Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire were smashing home run records and spiking interest in baseball before their steroid use was confirmed. Nor did it come up earlier in Serena's career, when she and her sister were so devastatingly good and wildly popular that TV ratings spiked, ticket sales and prize money ballooned, and the U.S. Open decided to move the women's final to prime time.


The better question is this: When have such exhibitions of greatness ever hurt a sport?


Sports always have been made better because of the presence of genius. Think of Wayne Gretzky inventing a new way to play hockey from behind the net. Remember those first few years when it was still new to see 6-foot-1 Venus cover the net from post to post with her telescopic reach, or smash serves that topped out at 129 mph -- faster than Andre Agassi was able to serve at the height of his career?


It's hard to forget how American sports fans stopped everything to check the race results during the Beijing Olympics every time Michael Phelps resumed his chase of Mark Spitz's individual record for gold medals. Remember how Tiger's long-hitting game used to allow him to toss out old conventions about club selection and rethink the geometry of a course? Red-faced tournament officials finally decided the only answer was to change (or "Tiger-proof") some of the most venerable courses in the game -- even Augusta National, home of the Masters.


Williams' ability puts her in that athletic company. You could parachute her down in any era and she'd still have a great chance to win anytime, anywhere, on any surface. Against anybody.


Until she woke up with a swollen toe on her surgically repaired right foot Wednesday and decided to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open -- she guessed it was probably the residue of playing eight matches in nine days, and decided better to be safe than sorry -- Williams was chasing three tournament wins in a row for the first time since 2008.
So this is nothing new for her.


What is different about Williams' current tear is the way she's admitting to some foibles. She says she still goes to every tournament expecting to win, but her "near-deathbed experience" -- as she has called her embolism scare -- caused her to reassess myriad other things.


The mortality rate for people who suffer pulmonary embolisms and leave them untreated is roughly 30 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This past March, Williams had just flown cross country and was about to go to a party when her physiotherapist became concerned about the shortness of breath Serena experienced that day in her workout and persuaded her to go to a Los Angeles-area hospital. Williams begrudgingly listened. She was soon rushed into emergency surgery to remove those clots from her lungs.


As a result, Williams says, "I'm just more chill now. I can't explain it." She says she's more apt to take each day as it comes, and she's more committed to training. As she was surveying how she could take her game to a new level once she returned, she finally admitted to herself what others have often carped: "I've never really been fit, you know?"


Williams says the embolism surgery cost her a little piece of one lung. She also lost three more months off the tennis tour. She has said getting her wind back has taken a lot of work. She has confessed that there were a few "why me?" days in her long convalescence when she was so down emotionally she couldn't even get up off the couch.


Williams acknowledged that there have been on-court fears to hurdle since coming back, too. But she's also been in notably good humor at most of her news conferences, joking easily about everything from her fast-approaching 30th birthday on Sept. 26 ("No, baby, I'm 26. I'm turning 27 this year") to how her serve has sometimes deserted her since she's been back. (It's a "him" to her, and she said when he/it resurfaced at Wimbledon, she demanded to know, "Where have you been?")


Both Serena and Venus have made a habit in their long careers of coming back from lengthy layoffs to win titles, even at the majors. But this time, Serena's return is different because of the seriousness of what she had to overcome.


Right now -- more than ever -- Williams deserves to be recognized as a remarkable athlete in the midst of a remarkable comeback. She's a story that just keeps getting better all the time.
None of that is "bad" for women's tennis.
It's transcendent.



Johnette Howard is a contributing columnist to ESPN.com and ESPNNewYork.com and is the author of "The Rivals: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova, Their Epic Duels and Extraordinary Friendship." She can be reached at jphinbox@yahoo.com.
Source: http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/s...d-women-tennis
tennislover22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2011, 11:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 15,794
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Player forum.
dsanders06 is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2011, 11:38 PM
Senior Member
 
volta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Porto
Posts: 12,977
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Like clockwork ...

Serena

Dominika Cibulkova
volta is offline  
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2011, 11:55 PM
Senior Member
 
hotandspicey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,225
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
Player forum.
The truth hurts you that badly? You can always come home. Our doors are wide open!

What a great read! Now that's what I call an "open letter" about Serena! I love this quote....
"Williams' ability puts her in that athletic company. You could parachute her down in any era and she'd still have a great chance to win anytime, anywhere, on any surface. Against anybody." Hot damn!!

She's Young, Gifted, And Smart!!!
She's The Baddest Serving B*tch Of The WTA!!!


R.I.P ELENA BALTACHA. YOU WILL BE MISSED!
hotandspicey is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 12:10 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,630
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

I'm partial to Serena but the OP really needs to get off her dick.
Moveyourfeet is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 12:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 15,214
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Because of the severity of her medical condition, it's the best and the most awe inspiring comback for a sports man or woman ever. To come back from a pulmonary embolism and to win your third and fourth tournament, and to be the overwhelming favourite for a slam just goes to show how amazing Serena is.

DON'T WAVE YOUR HAND AT ME GURLLL!
Veerror is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 01:08 AM
Veelieving!!!!!!!
 
it-girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,108
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
Player forum.
After reading that article this is all your mind could come up with

This article is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing it. This inspires you to just keep going no matter what comes your way. Such an inspirational story especially knowing that she felt so low and even had to lose a piece of her lung. Wow, just wow.

♥Forever in love with Leo St♥


VEELIEVER ♥ RENA'S ARMY♥
it-girl is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 40,129
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moveyourfeet View Post
I'm partial to Serena but the OP really needs to get off her dick.
You should thank me for sharing such an inspirational and positive article about a great American sport woman on the eve of the United States Tennis Open.
tennislover22 is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 01:27 AM
Senior Member
 
Tech1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: united states
Posts: 1,426
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Nice article, thanks for posting it here!
Tech1 is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 02:31 AM
Senior Member
 
skanky~skanketta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Not paradise thats fo sho
Posts: 15,458
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Serena is defo one of the greatest players ever!

skanky~skanketta is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 04:17 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,645
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

If it's even vaguely complimentary of her, it needs to go in the player forum, ASAP! Meanwhile a handful of Wozniacki dating/turkish airlines/misc threads go three, four pages before anyone says anything, if at all.

XIX
Alejandrawrrr is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 04:29 AM
Senior Member
 
mykarma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 30,008
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum79 View Post

Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.

Cory Booker
mykarma is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 04:45 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 19
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

I kind of lol'd when they said Barry Bonds and Mark Mcgwire because they both took steroids but awesome article. Serena
mrcod4 is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 05:55 AM
Senior Member
 
DOUBLEFIST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: LA
Posts: 10,565
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsanders06 View Post
Player forum.
My, what a troll you are.

You don't want to hear about Serena, don't read the thread.

Anyway, I'm glad the author address this notion of an Elite player being "bad" for the game.

JA ME KA IS THE GOAT!!!
23!!!!The Debate is OVER, Suckas!!
Queen Vee , Keys!, Steffi , Maria,Pre-Carlos Na A-Rad

Last edited by DOUBLEFIST; Aug 25th, 2011 at 06:33 AM.
DOUBLEFIST is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2011, 06:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 45,429
                     
Re: ESPN Puts SERENA Comeback In Perspective; Compared Her To Other Sports Greats

Dsanders! Can't handle it...player forum?!

Always bet on black!
Can you handle the truth?
The truth:
Serena Williams: Greatest African-American tennisplayer in history
22 majors:6376


Official Prince of the Royal Court
bandabou is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome