Saturday, January 30, 2010
In taking her fifth Australian Open singles title and twelfth grand slam title today, American Serena Williams showed a grace of composure that can only come with personal growth. The benefits of which were clearly on display during this tournament.
Serena was asked how special it was to now tie with Billie Jean King for twelve majors overall, "It's so cool, finally I... that was my goal, but I didn't want to say it was my goal, but you know now to even be mentioned in the same breath as her is awesome."
"So now I'm focused on doing what she was able to do off the court because she's such an amazing person."
Serena's 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 defeat of Belgian Justine Henin came at the end of a tournament within which Serena's injuries and apparent fatigue seemed as if they would overcome her ability to compete well with each successive match. Yet during each match you could see Serena continually composing herself, conserving energy where she could and being as precise as possible with every shot.
I must admit, seeing Serena in such a state and knowing the battles that she and Henin have waged in years gone by, I had great concern over her ability to be successful in this final. At the same time, Serena's quarterfinal match against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and semifinal match against Li Na presented a new depth of fortitude that allowed her to prevail in spite of any physical ailings.
That same determination enabled her to press forward even after losing the second set to Henin. When asked how she was able to get the momentum back on her side after losing the second set Serena said, "Well I thought, you know, I just got to man up, you know, this is my chance and no matter what I just have one more set, just get through it and... I did."
Asked about how she was physically able to make this final push after the doubles win yesterday Serena said, "Honestly, I don't know. I was just thinking okay Serena you can have some days off, just get through it and I did. And I just, was so happy to win, it was shocking."
Congratulations Serena, you truly earned this title and we celebrate with and for you.