For nearly ten years Serena Williams has dominated women’s tennis and it appears that her reign maybe coming to an end. Although no one will ever dispute the talent and ability of Serena Williams, despite their numerous Wimbledon and US Open Championships their commitment to the game has always been a hot topic. Unlike her peers on the tour, Serena Williams has often taken long layoffs from the court choosing to focus on her fashion and handbag clothing line instead of training.
Several pundits believe that her lack of commitment is a blatant show of disrespect to the game due to her possessing the ability to be the most dominant women’s tennis player of all time. For years Serena silenced critics who questioned her effort by collecting consecutive major championships (US Open, Wimbledon, French Open) without breaking much of a sweat but earlier this week her poor conditioning finally caught up with her. In this years French Open Serena received a huge reality check when she was eliminated in the first round for the first time ever in her professional tennis career.
Her performance on the court was an abysmal display of a poorly conditioned athlete whose ego finally got the best of her, she was thoroughly dominated by an opponent who was immediately dismissed in the second round in straight sets.
Throughout her career the game of tennis has come so easy to Serena, but for greatness to be attained her commitment and dedication to the game must change. I don’t recall anyone ever questioning Billie Jean King or Michael Jordan’s effort do you? However, there is hope, Serena has responded to embarrassing losses with a strong resolve in the past. For example, after taking a year off due to a blood clot in her lungs she returned to the court to win the Madrid Open thoroughly dominating the number one ranked tennis player in the world.
Serena Williams has four weeks to get in shape and prepare herself for Wimbledon. If she wishes to reclaim her title it is critical that she makes tennis a priority and not be distracted by her clothing line and cameo acting opportunities on shows like the Game and Single Ladies.
Ex- NBA player, Shawn Kemp possessed Hall-of-Fame talent but due to his ego and bad work ethic he ate himself out of the league. Will Serena continue to let poor conditioning and bad habits be her downfall? She broke up with longtime boyfriend Common to refocus on tennis, will she cut out the other distractions to get back on top? Stay tuned, I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)