‘Greatest’ Serena, the pioneer of ‘tennis intimidation’, turns 40

  |  Sunday, September 26th, 2021 |  10:00 am
       

Serena Williams turns 40 on Sunday with her long-time coach hailing her as the “greatest of all time” and a pioneer of tennis “intimidation,” reports AFP.

The American superstar is frustratingly marooned on 23 Grand Slam titles, one short of the all-time record held by Margaret Court.

However, her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou told AFP that her legacy is secure.

“Margaret Court was playing at a time when three-quarters didn’t even go to Australia (for the Australian Open), where tennis was an amateur sport, when the draws were 16 players,” said Mouratoglou.

Court, an Australian, won 11 of her Grand Slam titles at her home event.

“I don’t mean to disrespect Margaret Court, but it’s another era. Yes, it would be better if Serena broke her record but, if she doesn’t, she will still be the greatest player of all time.”

Williams, whose sister Venus, a seven-time major winner, is still playing on tour at 41, won the last of her 23 Slams at the 2017 Australian Open.

It was achieved while she was pregnant with daughter Olympia who was born in September that year.

With former world number one Serena now down at 40 in the rankings, questions have been asked over her future in the sport.

UR/