At the post-match press conference, Serena Williams said she hadn’t expected a victory against her sister Venus in Saturday’s Wimbledon final — yet, she somehow remembered to pack the fitted-T with her slogan printed right across her bosom: "Are you looking at my titles?"
Well, are you?
If not, maybe it’s time to start paying attention.
With her most recent Wimbledon victory, Williams has 11 singles grand-slam tournament trophies, more than any active player. That means she could catch
Williams is straddling the line between superstar and legend, and she knows it.
"I never thought I would be at this point where I would think about, ‘Wow, I want to win X amount,’" Serena said at her post-victory press conference. "But for the first time in my career — well, the second time — I have a number that I want to reach."
The first was Monica Seles, who had a career nine grand-slam wins.
You know who else thinks Serena Williams is on a trajectory to tennis immortality? Billie Jean King. She was on hand for the tournament, and spoke to reporters about both Williams sisters afterward: "They are the two best athletes we have in our sport. They really could be regarded among the very best, with Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf if they are willing to pay the full price."
Of course, for every person who worships at the Nike-sponsored alter of Serena Williams, there is someone who delights in blasting her. She lacks finesse; her powerhouse game is bad for women’s tennis. She doesn’t have the focus to consistently compete because she cares to much about fashion/glamor/celebrity. And, perhaps the biggest criticism of all: She is just so arrogant!
It’s not like you can argue with that last one: After her victory on Saturday, she didn’t fall to her knees and thank the gods of All England. She skipped into the air, and then turned her thousand megawatt smile onto the crowd and began fanning herself, as if she’d just been showered with swoon-inducing praise, and my goodness, I think I might just have the vapors.
Apparently, Serena has always been a show-woman.
During the awards ceremony, Venus put aside her second place tea saucer-size trophy and took some candid photos of Serena with her serving platter-size prize hoisted above her head. Serena seemed comfortable posing in front of her big sister’s lens. It made me think she’s been doing it her whole life.
But when it comes down to it, it isn’t really about the theatrics, or the clothing lines, or the fashion shows, or the television appearances or even the Tweeted marriage proposals (I counted 55 during Saturday’s match). In the end, it’s about the titles.
Serena has 11. The record is 24.
I confess I’m looking. How about you?