After winning her second career grand slam at the French Open, 31-year-old Serena Williams fell to the clay, pouring with emotion that was reminiscent of–though a bit different from–Andre Agassi’s reaction when he won the career slam by winning on the clay surface in 1999, nine years after finishing second at Roland Garros and seven years after he had won his first major.
She won her second career slam on Saturday 11 years after winning her first French Open title. She has 16 majors now, and is more dominant than she has ever been.
Williams admitted on Saturday, though, that she never expected to be playing tennis past 28.
Williams grew up in Compton, California, an area where many kids wonder if they will make it to their 28th birthday. Her sister was shot to death over a decade ago in Compton. She grew up playing tennis while bullets were flying past and has often said that is why she is able to concentrate and perform so well on tennis’s grandest stages.
But what Williams meant was that she, the entrepreneur, had so many other interests and opportunities–fashion, companies, etc.–that she thought she would be more engaged in those ventures instead of being as dominant and as focused as ever after the age of 30 on the tennis court. She seems like she could easily win more than 20 majors at this pace.
She survived a blood clot that almost killed her two years ago and relentlessly pursued the French Open title after being ousted in the first round last year and suffering one frustrating loss after the another on the clay. That loss transformed Williams, who used it as motivation to gather herself and refocus and rededicate. As Breitbart Sports’s Mary Chastain noted, Williams has gone 74-3 since that French Open loss.
Now she can speak French well enough to talk to the crowd in their native language, and she joked that she has had 11 years to practice her French and emphasized the French Open was “the only [major] I haven’t won more than once” and that is why she was “really pumped.”
More incredibly, Venus’s little sister who nobody thought could be better than Venus may arguably be the best to have ever played the game. She has 16 majors already while admittedly winning some while she was hurt and not completely focused on her game.
Not too shabby for a 31-year-old who is now more focused than ever and is inexplicably playing like someone just now entering her prime.