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How Serena Williams changed the tennis world
Dec 1, 2021, 3:24:00 AM

How Serena Williams changed the tennis world

Tennis has become one of the most popular sports in the world over the past few decades. Serena Williams is a huge part of its growth since she is one of the sport’s best players. Let’s talk about Serena’s impact on the sport during her illustrious career.

When you talk to both casual and passionate tennis fans, there is a consensus that Serena is one of the best tennis players of all time regardless of gender. That should not be a surprise since Serena has won so many tournaments over the years.

Serena is the winningest player in the Open Era with 23 Grand Slam singles titles in her résumé. She’s only behind Margaret Court in the all-time record books since the latter has 24 titles under her belt. When it comes to Serena’s WTA Tour rankings run, she has been at the top for 319 weeks which is third in the Open Era behind only Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

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Serena’s presence is immense

When Serena is on the court, you can expect that she will make a large impact. She rose to prominence as she became well-known in the tennis world because she was intimidating and imposing. She has always been a strong physical presence as she always proved himself to be one of the strongest tennis players. 

Patrick Mouratoglou is Serena’s coach for almost a decade now. The French coach believes that his player has changed tennis for the better using her presence alone. 

Patrick said, ‘She changed tennis. She brought an athletic dimension that there was not there at all, she opened the doors, with her sister Venus, to a whole generation of players because it was a white sport. She invented tennis intimidation because she has a presence that makes others fear her. For a very long time, it was impressive’.

Serena always plays her heart out and her success has always put fear on her opponents. Some players have stepped up in recent years but Serena’s presence will always be felt as long as she is in the tournament. She is the looming presence in the background that will always hang over other players’ heads as they are always worried about playing against her.

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Serena proved hard work pays off

Over the years, Serena has proven that hard work pays off in pro tennis. Athletes always preach hard work and dedication to be the biggest factor behind their success. Some jaded fans do not think that way but Serena has proven that to be true. During her youth, Serena had a hard time winning matches because she had some lazy moments. That did not pan out well for her because she lost matches left, right, and centre.

Serena’s sister, Venus, was always winning matches between the two. Their father, Richard, was a key part of their success because he always pushed them to compete for the biggest prize. They never gave up because they were taught to fight in every game. This is why you see Serena take every game seriously because she was hard-wired to perform at her peak in every game.

Serena has worked extremely hard over the years with both focus and dedication. Now, she is reaping the rewards of her hard work. She is the most successful female player of all time and she’s on track to becoming the best tennis player ever regardless of gender.

Now that she’s in her 40s, Serena might be nearing her retirement but she still has the physical attributes to keep up with the rest of the WTA Tour that is skewing towards youthful players like Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez.

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Serena kept proving everyone wrong

When you look at Serena’s career, you can see that she was not always the big star that we’re used to. Back in the day, Serena was always the second fiddle to her sister, Venus. 

The latter was considered the better of the two but when Serena found her stride, it was undeniable that she was the better player. Despite their friendly rivalry, some tennis fans were still doubting what Serena had to offer. She is not only one of the most physically imposing players in tennis but she is also skilled.

Serena was once an underdog early in her career but she always faced criticism. This includes her struggles with the media who branded her as an irritable player. Serena has always proved the doubters wrong with her undeniable skills and she has also proven that she’s a good person throughout her lengthy career.

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Serena is not just a tennis player

During her career, Serena has blazed a trail like no other. She is not only one of the best athletes ever but she is also a huge influence on a younger generation. As an African-American female, Serena proved that she can reach the pinnacle of her sport. She inspired countless others to always believe in themselves and work hard to earn what they want. 

She also broke the stereotype of athletes that are only focused on the sport. She is the most prominent female athlete when it comes to business because Serena herself is a brand. Even coach Patrick believes that she changed the game for female athletes dealing in business.

He said, ‘She also brought the business to women’s tennis. Before her, the business was very small and with her, it became huge because she has such an aura, she has become such a marketing object, too, that huge contracts are possible for the players’.

Serena will end her career as a sports icon because she has made such a large impact on not only tennis but competitive sports in general. She will continue to inspire so many people around the world every day even if she decides to retire. 

Serena embodies a premier athlete that the youth should follow. Her success matters to a large chunk of the tennis fan base. She undoubtedly changed the tennis world.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA