The Millennials of Tennis Are Put in their Place
by Amy Lignor
Talk about putting millennials in their place! Let’s hear it for those well-trained “seniors” out there who have managed to show that experience and perseverance – and not the number of wrinkles that can be counted on the face – are really what it takes to make it to some of the biggest championships in the sports world.
When it comes to real “experience” taking over the sports scene, it is the world of tennis that gave us the “best of the best” thus far. The Australian Open was literally the place to see true champions come back into the limelight and put their stamp on being among the greatest sports legends of all time. All were seniors in comparison to these up-and-comers who are attempting to follow in their footsteps, and all did a fantastic job of proving to the world that the creaking of joints will not stop them from bringing home yet another silver trophy and well-deserved title.
When it comes to the women, do we even need to talk about Serena Williams? The woman has a serve that any baseball pitcher in the world would kill for. It almost looks as if she doesn’t get into a sweat whatsoever. Of course, she may not, considering Serena has a way of winning two sets right off the bat and walking from the court with the match in hand. But this time out, for the whole shebang she had to meet her sister, Venus.
When Venus won her semi-final, the emotion was amazing to watch. This is a woman who has not made the grand finale for a long time because of health reasons, but this time around she conquered all those young foes to come face-to-face with her own beloved champion of a sister. Her hard work ended up creating a “Williams’ Sister Australian Open” which is exactly what millions have wanted to see, yet doubted would ever happen again. Their combined age? 71.
Yes, Serena (like always) did not drop a set. She won the first two right off the bat: 6-4; 6-4. But the matches were a whole lot of fun to see. These are two women who have struggled through everything – even body-image issues, if you can believe that – to become two of the best, if not THE best, tennis has ever seen. On the court, Serena Williams puts everyone in their place, and with this win she has once again reclaimed the #1 ranking. Intelligent, talented, skilled and, basically, a power that no one is able to stop, Serena leaves Steffi Graf behind and has only one woman left to conquer: Margaret Court who sits at 24 wins. Is Serena too old to accomplish this feat? If you think that, then you most definitely did not watch the Open which proved that Serena has no concept of age. She is a superstar athlete who will continue to bring down the house and walk away with the trophies. Winning 10 Opens since turning thirty, this 23rd title places her in an “impossible to beat” category.
On the male side of the court, the most experienced and talented rivalry met up once again. Roger Federer – a beloved tennis player by millions – went five sets in his semi-final to eliminate a younger player at 31, Stan Wawrinka, to reach the men’s final. At 35 years old, and having taken six months off because of an injury, even Federer stated that he did not assume he’d make it to the finals this time out.
His opponent is one that he has met repeatedly over the years – Rafael Nadal, who also has been nursing an injury and also believed that he and Roger would have to get together to do a charity tennis match in order to ever meet up again on the court. This is the perfect storied rivalry that many consider to be the greatest ever witnessed in tennis. Federer and Nadal have played 34 times – the last meeting being in the 2015 Swiss Indoors final. Nadal led their twelve-year-old rivalry with an overall record of 23–11. Now…with Federer’s incredible play and landing yet another Australian Open title, that lead has shrunk to 23-12. This is the first Open win in five years for Federer and no one deserves it more.
Watching these legends once again stand in the spotlight was incredible, both male and female, making the Australian Open one of the best finales tennis has seen in a very long time.
So congratulations to Serena Williams and Roger Federer: champions once again and absolute, 100% legends for all time.
Source: GIG News