Champions are made, not born.
While some may disagree with that statement giving reasons that seeds were implanted when born, nothing is ever handed to a champion, it must be earned through hard work and dedication. Serena Williams, fresh off her seventh Wimbledon Championship (singles) and 22nd career Grand Slam (singles) just went down in not only tennis history but sports history as well.
As sports fans we gravitate towards the four major sports, MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA but we tend to forget the athletes dominating outside of the majors. Tennis is not Must See TV on most occasions but Serena is Must See. Serena has dominated the Open Circuit, honestly since 1999. Throughout her career there have been ups and downs as with any great athletes. Michael Jordan only won 5 NBA championships, Derek Jeter only 5 World Series, Wayne Gretzky only won 4, Tiger Woods has 14 Majors to his name but then you have Williams.
Where would you rank her?
Tennis is not like the four major sports as they are team supported, but sports like tennis, golf and swimming are individual based. There’s no one dishing the ball to you for an open shot or blocking for you as you bounce off right tackle, it’s one on one, which alone might make tennis and golf two of the best sports being played.
And for that reason alone is why I believe Williams is the greatest champion that we have ever seen.
Muhammad Ali has been called the greatest, not just the best boxer ever but the greatest athlete in sports history, not just pertaining to his titles but because of how he defeated you before he fought you. The mind games he played with his mouth that threw you off your game made Ali the greatest. When Jeter and the Yankees were racking up championships, he was a part of a team, the same with Jordan. Both great champions relied on others to help them get where they are which help my argument why Williams must be selected.
Williams plays a sports that can be as grueling as football, hockey or basketball, a match can be as long as a basketball game or as short as it takes to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn. One on One, weather conditions, grass, artificial turf or clay. There is no noise, a stadium full of thousands but quiet as a mouse until…
126 mph for a serve, the fastest man serve was clocked in at 163 mph. Women cannot return that, some try but the others are simply scared to do so. Right there is another reason she is the best. Williams has the same approach that Ali did. Opponents would search the brackets, wishing they were on the opposite side, at least until the Finals, if they saw Williams early on, their spirit was broken. Match won before Williams even stepped on the court.
The reason she could intimidate you, her resume. Williams is the face of tennis, no doping allegations, a few outburst throughout the years but that resume speaks volumes to any one in contention of her throne. Jordan had his fair share of challengers, so did Woods, Ali and all the great ones but Serena has stared them all down, by herself, made some retire, made some turn to doping and made others search for tournaments she was not playing in. That is mind control, that is what separates winners from champions.
That resume we were just speaking about.
70 Singles Titles
4 Gold Medals
36 Grand Slams (22 as in singles play, and 14 as in doubles play)
22 Doubles Titles
2 Mixed Double titles
Did you get that?
Now to amaze you just one more time with a feat that rarely gets talked about concerning Serena. She has a sister that she plays Doubles with name Venus, maybe you heard of her. Well, they also won the Wimbledon Doubles title Saturday as well for the 6th time. Yes, now do the math on that. But for you sports fans that may not understand the titles in tennis, please allow me to break it down for you better.
My favorite leagues in order goes as follows: NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL. This is how I will explain tennis titles to you. Feel free to put your list anyway you want. But we will go from favorite to least.
NBA Finals= Wimbledon (Williams has 13 (including doubles)
Super Bowl= US Open (Williams has 6)
World Series= French Open (Williams has 3)
Stanley Cup= Australian Open (Williams has 6)
No other sports figure can contend with this résumé and she is still at the top of her game. She may not be able to dunk, but Jordan can’t serve 126 mph either. She can’t hit one out of the ballpark but Jeter can’t hit a backhander with such force that opposing players can do nothing but admire the strength.
Williams is the greatest champion to me because we are still talking about her brilliance while she is still able to add to her legacy. She is the greatest who hasn’t even reached how great she can be yet. Now that’s scary.