Intro for July 11, 2016
If you’re a regular visitor here at LaineyGossip, you are probably familiar with my obsession with Serena Williams. Serena Williams is now tied with Steffi Graf with 22 grand slam titles, the most in the open era, just over 2 months from turning 35 years old on September 26 (which also happens to be my birthday, not that it matters to anyone but me). The reason her age is significant here is because she’s won 9 majors since she turned 30, “one more than the combined total won by Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova” when they were competing in their 30s. So any dumbass who continues to insist that Serena’s game is all physical is, again, full of sh-t. As I’ve always said, Serena’s intelligence as a player is grossly undervalued. And that intelligence becomes paramount on the court as you age. It was strategy and skill that led to her victory on Saturday over Angelique Kerber. And, of course, hard work, determination, and self-confidence – all of which is in the mind.
Reading about Serena is all I wanted to do this weekend. And also Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas who were named last night to the US Olympic Gymnastics team. These are three women who understand what it means to have to be “twice as good”, calling back to what Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes, and Kerry Washington have spoken about before, the almost unfair “pressure to be extraordinary” when so many others enjoy the “extraordinary” by passing through on “pretty good”.
What’s legitimately extraordinary about Serena often goes uncredited. When Serena makes it to a grand slam final, viewership goes up. She’s been one of the most vocal advocates of equal prize money on the tour. And that’s how she can shut down those like Novak Djokovic who, you know, seemed to be confused about whether or not more people want to watch men play than women.
Some of the best writing about Serena comes from LZ Granderson. The US Open starts in 6 weeks. Serena Coming. But, right now, Serena and Venus are exactly where they are needed, in their rightful place.
Yours in gossip,
Clive Brunskill/ Karwai Tang/ Adam Pretty/ JUSTIN TALLIS/ Getty Images