Wrapping up her twenty-first singles Grand Slam title yesterday, and completing her second “Serena Slam” twelve years after her first, Serena Williams is clearly the greatest women's tennis player of all time, and arguably, the greatest athlete of her time. Now also holding the record of being the world's oldest top ranked player in WTA's history, it's astonishing how her abilities and exploits aren't spoken of in the same breath as Federer's. Here are some reasons why she's as much a legend:
Incredible tenacity and determination
If there's a primary reason for Williams' record and her amazing number of comebacks, it's her awe-inspiring ability to grind through results even when off-color or in a serious pinch. She manages to power on through sheer spiritedness, raising her game to overwhelm opponents.
Great professionalism when training and recovering
When her career started flagging after the high of 2003 due to a string of injuries affecting her power and form, many started writing her off. Over the years, however, she's clearly worked extremely hard on her training and rehabilitation to remain fit enough to pull off powerful comebacks against the greatest players of these times.
Serve and power
Serena's serve has often been recognized as the greatest in women's tennis history, notable for its great velocity and precise placement. Her record 102 aces at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships overshadowed even the men, even though they play up to five sets a match. Serena has also polished her groundstrokes into formidable weapons, with both her forehand and double-handed backhand capable of unsettling opponents of the highest caliber.
The chants are already starting for Serena to complete her first calendar Grand Slam, and she looks well set for it, with her 39-1 record this year.