About a month ago, Serena Williams was asked a really stupid question. She’s often asked stupid questions but this one made the all-time list. Bill Simons basically asked Serena if she’s intimated by Maria Sharapova because Maria is good-looking. Seriously.
I have never physically cringed as hard as when I read this in Serena’s transcript. Wow. pic.twitter.com/60wnSWG6En— Jeff Donaldson (@jddtennis) June 2, 2018
That is the dictionary definition of F-ckSh-t.
A few days ago, Serena was asked a different question. It was a good question. Maybe one of the best questions she’s ever been asked, resulting in a GREAT answer, from the Greatest Of All Time:
You know why she looks surprised there? When the question is first posed to her? Because she’s not used to people acknowledging what she experiences. She’s used to assholes like Maria Sharapova undermining her success, coming up with all kinds of creative reasons to take away from what Serena has achieved and what makes Serena the best. She’s not used to it being publicly recognised that people get jacked to play her, that people save their top game for her, that they BRING IT harder and stronger when she’s the one across the court. No one else has to contend with it. These are the facts. Facts that Serena has known but that no one else has verbalised, at least not this directly and in a spirit of respect. Until now.
You see, right? You see how… almost… relieved she looks? It’s a heartbreaker, that breath she takes when she first hears the question. Because it’s lonely at the top. It’s even lonelier at the top when you’re Serena Williams, being told for half of your career, or more, that you don’t belong. And still. The champion does not apologise, nor does she, after the relief has passed, try to pretend it’s anything other than what it is with gratitude or with deflection. Instead, she calls it.
“That’s what makes me great.”
Women are conditioned to pivot from compliments, to sidestep conversations that highlight their greatness. Serena isn’t about that sh-t. Serena’s like….yep, that’s what I deal with, that’s what I play against, that’s why I’m the motherf-cking GOAT. OK so maybe not in those words but the point is if she’s not here to take away and diminish her own greatness, it sets the tone for not allowing anyone else to do it either. A lesson for all of us.
She’s through to the quarters. I have the day off tomorrow. But she’s been winning while I’m at work. I’m actually considering coming in to keep the streak going. Please. As IF the way Serena plays has anything to do with where I’m sitting, but I’m just that superstitious.