Serena Williams Shows Why She's Still the Best Player in the World

Tommy KeelerCorrespondent IIIMay 11, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Serena Williams of the USA stretches to play a backhand to Maria Sharapova of Russia in her quarter final match during the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 11, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Serena Williams showed once again that she's the best player in the world.

Throw out the rankings. They say that she's the No. 9 player in the world, but there's no question when her heart and soul are into it she's the best.

On Friday, she once again dominated Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-3, in the Madrid Open quarterfinals. The tournament is clearly hers to lose. She served 11 aces and dominated play from the baseline against an intimidated Sharapova.

Serena has now won nine straight matches on clay, her weakest surface, and if she continues to play like she has been the rest of the tour is in big trouble. To me there's no question that she's the favorite to win the French Open. She's only won it once in her career, and you know she'd like to add another one to her resume.

Her serve is the key. She's been serving double-digit aces during the clay-court season, not an easy thing to do. The reality is her serve is the best serve of all-time and when it's on no one can handle it.

If Serena continues to give her heart and soul to the game this could be the year of Serena.

She's just bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else. And if she stays committed to the game, she could still dominate for years to come.

Forget her age. At 30, she's still way better than everyone else. The problem for Serena is that she doesn't stay focused and play enough to reach the top and dominate and I don't actually think that will change. However, can you imagine what she could do if she played a lot of tournaments year-round and stayed committed to being the best?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a Serena fan. But I respect her and her game. In my opinion, Serena is the most talented player to ever play the game. Injuries and lack of commitment will keep her from winning the most slam titles of all-time, and that's a shame. Still, as Serena enters what should be the last years of her career, it's important to appreciate what she's done in her career and just how talented she is.

Fans should enjoy watching her, especially when she's playing like she is now. She won't be around forever. Even though I'm not a fan, I enjoy watching greatness. I love the game of tennis and always will. No one player is ever bigger than the sport itself, sometimes I think fans forget that. I'm first and foremost a tennis fan, and I will enjoy watching Serena in the final years of her career.

Her fight, her determination and will to win are all things to be admired. And they are all part of what makes Serena one of the greatest of all-time.