See how Serena Williams became one of the all-time greats at age 20
It’s almost impossible to know when Serena Williams is being dishonest. She’s never been known for her selflessness. She’s been known to do things for the sportswriters. She’s not known for being too nice to competitors or too gracious (her public demeanor is, of course, much different than what it is to strangers). She’s also a very aggressive, self-confident, competitive type of competitor, who knows the game as well as any player.
And those are only the most obvious things about her. But, with the benefit of hindsight and after having seen a lot of her tennis, I can confirm (as well as I can come from another player’s side) that at least over the past several years, she is not being completely honest with herself, with the media or with herself. Here are a few things that she has said that I think should be taken with a grain of salt.
There’s no question that, when she entered WTA Tour competition in 2006, she knew how good she was, had she been a more experienced player. But she also knew, without question, that she was a very raw talent and that it would take some time and hard work to master the WTA Tour. And, the last two years, we have seen the emergence of the Serena Williams who took the WTA tour by storm and became one of the all-time greats. When she was 19 and 21, she was very good. She was the most dominant player, but not the best. She was on a steep upward trajectory. But when she reached her 30s, there was a major turning point. By then, she had developed a reputation as a cheater and a liar. Even as an adult, she had trouble letting go of that reputation. And, at age 30, we saw the emergence of the kind of woman who will be remembered for only one thing, a tennis game that few ever see as a 30-year-old: a killer baseline game with all the weapons of the sport and a killer forehand that is a beautiful weapon in a good match. Even her detractors admit that she is a strong baseline player.
Serena’s first love was tennis, and she had her fair share of heartbreak along the way. Yet, the fact is she always had that ability to love the game that will be remembered for decades, if not in