I'm no fan of Serena Williams as a looker; some find her attractive, some don't. Personally, she's just not my cup of tea. But as a tennis star, she is phenomenally good. When she's not battling her sister Venus for another Grand Slam title, she is usually at the head of the pack in some other tournament.
However, as the always controversial Jason Whitlock points out regarding Serena in his most recent article, "At age 27—the same age as Federer—Serena owns just half as many major titles (11) as Steffi Graf, the greatest women's player of all time."
While the talent pool in women's tennis today may be a little bit deeper than it was in Graf's prime, Whitlock does have a point. With how dominant Serena has seemingly been, she does only have 11 titles as she edges closer to being "tennis old." Graf herself retired at age 30.
Whitlock's point here is that Serena wins because she is the most dominating force in women's tennis—when she wants to be, that is. And maybe he is right.
We all know that Serena and Venus' father is the primary reason they have pursued tennis. Whitlock's point is that Serena could be so much more if she concentrated on doing so and got herself into shape.
Here's an excerpt that speaks to the underlying theme of the piece, but I advise you to go on and read it, if not for entertainment, then maybe for a little perspective:
"During this year's Wimbledon, Serena and [Dinara] Safina played Court Two while hot, lesser stars battled on Centre Court. Safina can blame genetics for her fate. Serena only has herself to blame. God gave Serena everything, including drop-dead looks.
"She's chosen to smother some of it in an unsightly layer of thick, muscled blubber, a byproduct of her unwillingness to commit to a training regimen and diet that would have her at the top of her game year-round.
"Serena simply isn't obsessed with tennis perfection. She seems to play the game solely because she's good at it. Not because she has a burning desire to be the best there ever was. That is her right."
So what do you think? Is Whitlock out of line (again), or does he have a valid point? Please discuss; I look forward to your comments.
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