Serena Williams: The Greatest Ever and the all-American History Maker!

Serena williams winning wimbledon 2016
Compton, a working class suburb in Los Angeles, USA known for; gang violence, crimes, homelessness, and drugs -as portrayed in the 2015 movie about rap group NWA, Straight Outta Compton- was the birth place of Serena Williams.  It was in this economically distressed city that Serena began her journey to becoming one of the greatest athletes of all time, together with her sister Venus.

Serena williams beating Steffi Graf's open era record
Watching her equal Steffi Graf's Open Era record with her 22nd major title win on Saturday July 9, 2016 might deceive many into thinking that she had a reasonably easy ride to these achievements. Few have had to struggle out of an environment such as Compton. Fewer have reached her level with same vigour and aplomb.

Serena williams winning wimbledon 2016
From the onset, Serena Williams has been plagued by numerous injuries and illness, the kind that might have ended most athlete’s careers. In 1999, her breakthrough year, when Serena won her first Grand Slam at the US Open at the age of eighteen, she began to suffer from a series of health issues. Issues ranging from; patella tendonitis in her knee, strained elbow, severe flu, back injury, meliscus tear in her foot, ligament injury, inflamed bones, surgery on the quadriceps tendon on her knee, death of her half sister Yetunde Price, abdominal injury, depression and many more. All these injuries kept her out for many weeks and months throughout her long career, forcing her to pull out and miss many competitions.

The most devastating medical issues she had was in 2010 when she stepped on a broken bottle in a restaurant, and 2011 when blood clots was discovered in her lungs. What's incredible is that despite the setbacks from the injuries and family tragedy, some of which nearly led to her death, Serena Williams is a month away from her 35th birthday, and yet still a dominant force in the women's tennis tour.

Serena williams winning wimbledon 2016
As a black woman, other adversities she had had to face like no other tennis player is the barrage of attacks from fans, journalists, fellow players, and commentators. Many of the attacks were racist comments, body shaming jokes, and general hostility. History will never forget the era of Serena Williams as a remarkable one that withstood this deluge. Over the years, Serena has had to endure attacks against her body on social media and in person. These have come in different forms, from direct trolling on Twitter to light-hearted mocking of her athletic physique by fellow players. She has been called a "Savage" "Gorrila" "Manly" and so on.

One main argument of Serena’s career is that despite her dominant record against rival Maria Sharapova (which she has defeated, 19 of their 21 matches,) Williams earned about half of what the Russian did from endorsements. This only goes to show how bad racism is engrossed in sports.
Like every other human being, over the last 17 years that Serena had occupied the world stage, there have been occasional outbursts, some unprofessional attitudes on court, and times when she was a sore loser and won't give credit to her opponents when they beat her. However, she has since matured into someone who epitomises professionalism and dignity. These past transgressions only represent the remarkable evolution of Serena Williams. Like we saw earlier this year when Sharapova confessed to having used drugs, Serena was one of the very few tennis players to publicly support her longtime rival's courage in coming clean.

Williams suffered back-to-back shocking defeats in three Grand Slam finals recently before finally coming out victorious yesterday. Hours later, she did a double when she joined her sister Venus later to also claim the Wimbledon doubles title. On those recent occasions when she lost, she conducted herself graciously, acknowledging her opponents with warmth that shows how far she has come.
Beyonce and Jay Z cheering serena williams
Serena Williams appeared in Beyonce 2016 music album Lemonade's video, so it wasn't a surprise when the Pop star turned up with her Rap mogul Husband Jay Z to cheer her on in Saturday's Wimbledon final. When Serena won, she raised her arm with a clench fist, a sign also done by Queen Bey known to politically mean "Black Girl Power."

Having won 22 major finals out of 28, and her sister Venus the only tennis player to beat Serena more than once in those 6 defeats, and a joint 14 doubles Grand Slam titles with her sister, it is safe to refer to her as the Lionel Messi or Muhammad Ali of the Open Era Tennis. Though she's 2 titles away from breaking the all time 24 major finals win record, at 35 and still kicking it, one can only wait and see if she can pull it off.

Serena Williams black lives matter
The lesson in her story is how she never gave up as she faced and overcame numerous obstacles. Today, she stands a champion in the sporting world, and the world, or at least most of it, has learned to embrace Serena Williams. And she in turn has embraced both herself and the world around her. That was evident when she recited Maya Angelou's Still I rise poem before the Wimbledon final. And that is a true mark of an American champion.

If you are searching for evidences that Black-Lives-Matters, search no further, because in Serena Williams is the true American blackness. She's the greatest ever and the all-American history maker.


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