Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 9 - Respect the Williams sisters.

Hello all. Just back from a lovely holiday on the East Coast, where the clouds are slower but the people are faster.

Day 9 is in 5th gear.

Nadal is visiting Murray's kitchen as I write.

I want to get right to the quick and tell you all what is currently on my mind:

The Williams sisters.

Did you know that their are 14 singles Major titles between them? Did you know that Serena has won all four Majors? I do. I looked it up. She has 8 total. She probably needs a special room for the hardware at her crib. There are 9 Wimbledon finals between the girls, and countless other trips to the semi's and quarters. If it happens, this would be their third Wimbledon Final, with Serena taking '02 and '03.

If you are like me and have criticized them in the past, you may want to admit, whether you like their business endeavors or not, these girls can mult-task at a level that only Donald Trump might know. I, regrettably, have taken shots at the sisters for not maximizing their stratospheric potential. I, just like everyone else on the planet, have belittled their level of commitment, and have questioned their cockiness.

But the fact came so clear to me today as I watched some of the highlights of their doubles match:

They are worthy of nothing but praise. In this day and age we love to sit and pontificate about what we could never in our wildest dreams achieve. The fact of the matter is that the Williams girls have done nothing short of carry American Tennis in the new millenium. As I watched the tape of them meticulously deconstructing Bethanie Mattek and Sania Mirza, I suddenly became overwhelmed by my newly found gratitude for the shining beacon of light that is the sisters. They were so entertaining to watch. So passionate and so hungry for victory.

Their game is defined by athleticism and swagger, and they are fierce competitors on the court even as they appear to haphazardly (in our opinions) prioritize off of it. But can we really question their priorities? Isn't the only fact worth mentionining the outcome of these tournaments that they typically end up winning? Sadly, we expect to much. We are not naive enough to think that there are currently any Americans who will even do so much as lick the Williams sisters boots over the course of their careers, but still we expect more.

Perhaps the problems lie not with the Williams sisters but with our expectations of them? The fact of the matter is that they are winners, great champions indeed, to the tune of six wimbledon titles between them. As American's in search of that last vestige of greatness, that waning heroic faction that we long to be characterized by, that we feel implicitly resides in all of our hearts, we should stand up and take notice. We should put our hands tothether and realize their accomplishments.

They are worthy, and in case you haven't been watching or you've had your head underwater, they are on a collision course for yet another epic battle of siblings.

I would like to personally take this time to thank them for carrying our collective american tennis jockstrap. I would like to thank them for representing the American spirit, the iconic spirit whose relevance in todays global community many of us have come to doubt. I would like to thank them for being what they are, bold and competive and trained in the art of tennis warfare.
I think we as a community would be less hypocritic by dropping the histrionics and placing the sisters on the pedestal that they so obviously belong on.

Woman's Semi's tomorrow!