Was only a typical British tennis-fan-for-Wimbledon-fortnight-only when I was young, so '04 Wimbledon was the first time. Heard vaguely about how some hot 17-year-old who screams had made it through to the final, but naturally assumed the final was going to be just a coronation for Serena. Then on that Saturday, I remember my mum watching the final and getting very excited (my Serena hate is genetic it seems
), and so I came in and watched the 2nd set. Just remember being blown away by how ice-cool she was under pressure, and also her game was a little similar to Agassi's (or so it seemed to me as someone who only watched Wimbledon) who was the only player I stanned for at that time.
Then I would root for her the next couple of Wimbledon, and remember being more upset than I'd ever been about tennis at that stage when she lost to Mauresmo in the semis in '06. Then I remember seeing in the papers that she'd won the USO, and being more happy than it felt I should be for someone I only took a passing interest in once a year
Then after Wimbledon in 2007 I became a HUGE fan of tennis and started watching everything religiously, of course including Maria's matches, and.....yeah, by '08, I'd already reached the skipping-classes level of devotion so that I could watch the legendary AO08 QF
Writing this post has made me realise: I've never actually witnessed her doing well at a US Open first-hand
That had better be corrected this year.