After being knocked out in the first round of the 2012 French Open, the first defeat of that kind in her career, Serena Williams stirred up many questions.
Several tennis fans said it marked the downturn of her career, and others began to wonder if there was an injury or some other behind-the-scenes force that was taking away her motivation. Nonetheless, about a month later, Williams shut the door on all of her non-believers.
She pulled out a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska to claim her fifth Wimbledon title and 14th Grand Slam victory overall. This hard-fought win caps off her incredible run at the All England Club and shows that her career is far from over.
She will most likely not take over the top spot in the world, but it will certainly set her up in a great position to reclaim it. She is now the favorite heading into the Olympics. If she can bring home a medal there, she may be able to skip up to No. 1 at the U.S. Open.
The road this season has not been easy for Serena. She has been constantly struggling with health issues and has been distracted with several off-the-court issues, including clothing lines and other entrepreneurial activities.
However, the on-the-court focus Williams exhibited this week in England was beyond impressive. She was all tennis and no other business. This was evident in her interactions with reporters.
This carried over into her play, showing the strength and determination she consistently had for years. Her serve was in top form, smashing 17 aces in the final alone. She looked quick and agile on the baseline, moving from side to side and chasing down balls. She will need to cut down on her unforced errors, but if she is able to dominate in other aspects, like aces and winners (58 in the final), then she can make up for it.
This week at the All England Club, Serena Williams showed the tennis world that she is back and should not be discounted. If she is able to maintain this solid play, the 2012 Wimbledon title will not be Williams' last Grand Slam, and she will continue to cement herself as a legend in women's tennis history.