The crowd goes numb. Serena is losing. They don’t see that often, do they?
Serena is hitting everything out. The opponent is making her run. She finds the line every single time, making Serena wonder how. The court is silent that you’d hear Serena’s grunt closer. The opponent a game away from the win now. She looks relaxed yet nervous. Serena is not nervous but angry with herself.
Angry Serena is not good for the opponent. She is dangerous. Serena unlearns. She serves. Ace, forced error, a net winner, ace again. She finishes the game. The opponent is now serving for the match.
There is a change in Serena’s grunt now. Something similar to a lioness. She moves closer, takes the ball early, attacks. A return winner that must have travelled faster than the light. It was like a slap on the face of the opponent. Serena walks back, continues the same.
Had a person in the crowd went out to grab something to eat, he would have missed the whole plot and would be wondering how Serena turned the tables very quickly. For Serena and her team though, it is more like a routine. They know Serena can pull it off from anywhere. They know Serena hates to lose and she never gives up.
Yes, She never gives up.
Serena never gives up. She hates that. She loves to fight, fight hard till the end and would leave the place heads high with content because she is the queen and the queen wins them all. At times, she loses but she makes sure to smile, runs to hug her opponent, tells nice words about her. Like a champion.
Serena never gave up. She was very young when she and Venus took up tennis. She practised in a place where gunshots are common. They did practice all against the odds to come a long way.
Serena never gave up. Nobody in the sport faced racism more than the sisters did. Even during her pregnancy treatment, she faced racism. They had to cope up with constant bullying . They still do.
Serena never gave up. When you have Serena dominating the court, there are a lot of male chauvinists who couldn’t accept the fact that she is one of the greatest and would always “joke” that she would lose if she contested in ATP. Why the hell should she?
You constant would see people making fun of her physique. Nothing had pulled Serena down but had only made her stronger to build a foundation for herself, to be an ambassador of body positivity.
Serena never gave up. Serena once stepped on a glass that injured her right leg. The injury needed 12 stitches and right after the injury, she did play an exhibition match against Kim Clijsters just to keep up the promise.
Serena never gave up. Serena, for years, was insecure. She was living under the shadows of Venus. She did what Venus did and tried to copy her until she was 21. One fine day, she understood she is Serena and wanted to live her life on own. She eventually did and the rest is history.
Serena never gave up. It was Oscars party and Serena was enjoying the day. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe. She thought it was the place. People told her that she would be okay but things only got worse. She couldn’t breathe at all. Serena rushed to the hospital and she was told that she had clots in her lung. It would have got worst and would have ended her life if she was two days late to the hospital. She couldn’t get out of the bed and spent months in recovery. She came back only to get better.
Serena never gave up. I have seen women struggling with the pregnancy then I witnessed Serena. She was out there playing the Australian Open when she was pregnant. She won it her way with ease. She was pregnant and I can only wonder from where she got the powers to do that.
Serena never gave up. Serena gave birth to her baby via C-section after her baby’s heartbeat got low during one of the contraction. Things were good, she thought as her baby came out all good. Hours later, she was feeling shortness of breath once again. Her blood clots in the lungs returned. She couldn’t breathe at all. She was coughing throughout. To make everything worse, her C-section got unstitched itself due to intense cough. She required another surgery. Swelling of blood took place around her abdomen. She had a filter inserted into her major vein.
For a long period, she took hours to walk to a few meters. Months later, She started training. She was back. Once again. She was winning matches. Once again. She was breaking all the stereotypes. Once again. She was reaching the final of multiple grand slams. Once again.
She might not be winning majors now, she might not at all. She might have fallen from the top of the rankings, she might not return there at all. She is not the best in tour anymore, she might not return there at all.
Who cares about the result?
Serena is much more than just the game and the result. She is an inspiration beyond words for all of us out there.
To stand up, after all, she had gone through to play the game again at the highest level at this age is itself a victory for Serena, for all fans.
She is here, at the top, because she fought her way through every single day and came out as the champion. The queen. No, Serena doesn’t need another Grand Slam to prove she is the best but her life tells you the story something beyond the Tennis court.
If life is falling apart and you have no clue about how to overcome the challenges, take a leaf from Serena’s book and it will lead you the way. Such is Serena’s life. A real inspiration. A real warrior.
I’m not sure how many years left with Serena and Tennis. No matter what, I will always be proud of what she had achieved and how she had inspired me in life. I will always be grateful.
Happy Birthday (26th September), my queen. I love you beyond words. Thank you for being such a fighter and an inspiration.