The world should cherish Serena Williams’ final act

If you hadn’t been paying close attention then perhaps you would have been under the impression that Serena Williams had retired. The 23-time Grand Slam winner had, after all, quietly left the tour to begin rehabilitation on an ankle injury that she suffered during the first week of Wimbledon last year. The twelve months that followed that setback at the All England Club have, regrettably, been anything but pain-free and straightforward with Williams working day and night to be fit for Wimbledon 2022. 

Astonishingly, the 40-year-old has been able to achieve this goal and will compete at this year’s event in SW19 as a wildcard. Despite this unfamiliar status, the latest Wimbledon odds still price Williams at a competitive +1800 to win the showpiece which makes her the fifth favorite overall to go all the way in the outright odds market.

 

Now, considering the uphill injury battle that the American has had to endure since last summer, those odds do indeed indicate the extraordinary talent that Williams possesses with the experts convinced that the player is still capable of winning her eighth Wimbledon title. 

The last dance

It does, of course, remain to be seen if Williams is able to turn back the clock on Wimbledon’s iconic Center Court or indeed later on in the year at Flushing Meadows for the playing of the US Open – a title she last won in 2014. One thing is for certain though, and that is we are about to witness her final act in the professional game. If that doesn’t immediately dawn on you and bring about a crippling feeling of nostalgia then consider for a second that Williams’ first professional event was in 1995. Indeed, the world has advanced so much since then that it could have, for all intents and purposes, been a lifetime ago when Williams made her debut. 

Ever since that day in Quebec, however, Williams has carried herself with awe-inspiring distinction and has left the world of tennis mesmerized on more occasions than anyone can remember. In addition to that, the Nike athlete has rewritten the book on greatness and longevity by continuing to perform at her peak when most professionals would have been a long time retired. 

 

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Of course, some may point to the fact that Willimas last won a Grand Slam in 2017 but she has still appeared in four finals since beating her sister Venus at the Australian Open five years ago. Furthermore, the 40-year-old also became a mother in between that time which, understandably, comes with its own new set of priorities. Although this makes her story more and not less inspiring given that this titan of professional tennis has been able to win 23 Grand Slams whilst also triumphing off the court. 

When all is said and done, there is so much to take on board and learn from Williams’ utterly remarkable career at the summit of women’s tennis. Sadly, this box office entertainment that we’ve been treated to for decades is entering its final act, and realistically speaking, fans may never be treated to anything like it ever again so drink it in and cherish every last moment that Williams spends on the court.

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