Serena Williams announced that she planned to evolve away from Tennis after the US Open. This wasn’t a new decision on her part, as she had decided to leave the sport prior to playing the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her statement brought into question the term “evolving” and did it mean that she was retiring from tennis or simply taking some time off from the game. Tournament officials immediately interpreted her comments as final and that demonstrations of appreciation were in order.
Accolades began pouring in, and videos chronicling her tennis career were streamed at every event. All the while, Serena took to the courts at the US Open with a fierce determination to win, as she has demonstrated in her past performances. People and pundits began to state that she might actually win it. As she moved forward in the tournament, it became apparent that all the speculation of her retiring was accurate. At 40 years old, the physical toll seen at each match was obvious. Mentally she still had the burn, but physically her recovery was questionable. It was noticeable in her last match versus Ajla Tomljanovic from Australia. After a few games, her ability to transition became apparent, meaning that after executing a shot, she was unable to prepare for the next. Her leg movements in the match showed that Serena couldn’t get going. The last match ended, and the accolades poured in deservingly and so.
Serena Williams is not only the greatest female tennis player in the open era of tennis, but she is one of the greatest athletes to play sports. The tag GOAT, Greatest Of All Time, has been arguably applied to several sports figures such as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Bill Russell. In Serena’s case, there is no debating that she is deserving of the tag. She has won more major tournaments than any male or female player as a professional since Tennis’ inception as a pro sport. She has inspired countless players over the years who strive to emulate their champion for success on and off the court.
My opinion is that Serena’s evolution will be an inspiration for female and other minorities in the realm of business. Her company, Serena Ventures, seeks to mentor and again inspire people who have an interest in succeeding in business. Her theme for the business is “Play to Win.” I have no doubt she will be just as successful off the court as she was on it.