If you’ve interacted with me for more than 10 minutes, you know that I love Serena Williams. I take being a fan to a whole new level. Some people say it’s unhealthy, but I disagree. For as long as I can remember, Serena has represented endless possibilities and has shown me where hard work can get you. Her life hasn’t been easy. Throughout her career, Serena has been harassed and written off. She’s endured family tragedies, health scares, and blatant racism. She’s been called out for looking too masculine and has been accused of taking drugs. For years, she wasn’t the highest paid female tennis player, even though she was the most successful. No matter what record she broke or challenge she overcame, her success was belittled. Thankfully, she never let the naysayers hold her back. In the past few years, it’s become increasingly obvious that Serena is in a league of her own but she still isn’t given the credit she deserves. People look at Serena and expect greatness without thinking about the work that goes into that greatness. In spite of all of this, or maybe because of it, Serena has solidified her place as the greatest tennis player of all time. Somehow a black girl from Compton has managed to dominate a white sport that never welcomed her.
Last Saturday, Serena lost in the Wimbledon final. I sobbed. Big, ugly tears that not even Kim K could compete with. I wanted the win more than I realized. The rational part of me knew that I was being ridiculous. Wimbledon was only Serena’s 4th tournament back from maternity leave. Ten months ago, Serena was in and out of surgery and didn’t know if she was going to survive. A few weeks ago, she had a pectoral injury and wasn’t sure if she would be able to play at Wimbledon. The fact that Serena made it to the finals is incredible. Her success at Wimbledon shows how resilient and determined Serena is. She managed to do something that most people can only dream of, months after literally fighting for her life. She shut up the critics and proved that she can be both a great tennis player and a great mother. Once again, Serena made something so difficult look effortless. Even though I didn’t get the ending I wanted, I am still so incredibly proud of everything Serena accomplished.
At the beginning of her comeback, Serena debuted the S pin and asked everyone what their S stood for. Thousands of people chimed in, baby Olympia included. I never posted my S because I couldn’t settle on one word. After watching Wimbledon, I came up with an answer. My S changes all the time but when it comes down to it, my S stands for Serena and for everything Serena stands for.