Found September 10, 2012 on SportyFemale:

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Despite the women’s U.S. Open finals airing during the football games yesterday, I made it a point to tune in and watch.

Serena Williams was two-points away from defeat when, I think, she finally realized the task that was ahead of her. She came back to defeat the top-ranked Victoria Azarenka by winning the last four games 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

This is the fourth U.S. Open Championship for Williams and 15th Grand Slam title overall. The way she was able to rally back showed so much strength, mentally and physically for Williams.

“I honestly can’t believe I won. I really was preparing my runner-up speech, because I thought, ‘Man, she’s playing so great,’ ” Williams said during the trophy presentation after the 2-hour, 18-minute match, adding: “I’m really shocked.”

I’ve been saying for a very long time that when Williams is healthy, there really is no stopping her. She dominates every aspect of the tennis court and makes a lot of her competitors seem like they’re on the JV level.

Williams has been plagued by injury for the past year and at times didn’t think she would be able to play anymore. It was only after a few days of winning Wimbledon in 2012 that she cut both feet on broken glass while leaving a restaurant in Germany. This caused Williams to have two operations on her right foot. After that she got clots in her lungs and had to inject herself with a blood thinner. As if it couldn’t get any worse, the shots she injected herself with led to a pool of blood harboring under her stomach’s skin, requiring another procedure in the hospital.

To be able to come back from that is miraculous at best, but then to be able to dominate on the tennis court a year later is simply amazing. Watching Williams play, you know she is meant to be there.

Even though Williams is ranked 4th in the world, the way she plays shows that there is no stopping her. In all of our eyes, she should be ranked number 1. It’s really that simple. No female has dominated the game of tennis for the last decade the way she has.

Since her loss in the French Open in May, she is 26-1, winning Wimbledon and the London Olympics. Not only did she win singles Gold in the Olympics, she also won doubles with her sister Venus Williams.

“I never, never quit. I have come back so many times in so many matches,” Williams said. “I wasn’t too nervous.”

That is why Serena is always an athlete to admire. There have been so many times where I’ve seen her have to come back and fight to win. She just takes it one point at a time. Somehow she finds a way to settle down and compose herself enough to make a comeback.

Yesterday’s win makes that three U.S. Open titles in a span of three decades for Williams. She won her first major title at age 17 at the 1999 U.S. Open. Winning titles 13 years apart at the same Grand Slam tournament represents the longest span of success in the professional era, which began in 1968.

Talk about a woman on fire! I admire her for never giving up, not just in tennis, but life. She’s battled a lot of off-court health issues and to be able to continue to dominate is inspiring for anyone.

This has been a whirlwind year for Williams. Serena, who turns 31 on Sept. 26, is the first 30-year-old woman to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987.

Watching her play, it seems like she still has many years of tennis ahead of her. There’s no way she can stop now because she is completely dominating the competition at all levels. While she may have had to battle back against Azarenka yesterday, the plays she made were on a different tier.

If Williams is able to stay injury-free, there is no reason why she can’t play for a few more years and still be at the top. She continues to work with the best coaches and has a strong base around her.

Bottom line, Serena Williams should be an inspiration to many to never give up on your dreams no matter the adversity. I’m looking forward to seeing her continue to win on the tennis court and bring home many more championships.


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