EVEREST HAS BEEN CLIMBED AGAIN … BY SERENA

By Craig Gabriel

What more can be said about Serena Williams? The lady is just amazing. Serena has created tennis history by becoming the oldest woman player to be ranked No.1 in the world. Her comeback win over Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in Doha to reach the semifinals tipped her over the edge with enough ranking points to secure her place at the top of the tennis world.

The 31-year-old American will return to No.1 for the sixth time in her career, and nearly eleven years after she first claimed the mantle in July 2002, and she has now passed Chris Evert who was previously the oldest women’s No.1.

When she takes over the No.1 spot officially on February 18, it will be the start of her 124th week at No.1.

“It’s a great honor,” she said. “So many people were cheering for me on the court and off the court and online and at home in the United States. It felt really good, for sure.

“I mean, having so many great companies behind me like Nike and Gatorade and Wilson and Serena Signature Statement, they were just there and consistent the whole time. It’s been great to have such great companies behind you that really believe in you and never give up.  So it’s awesome.”

Over the last two years when she began to return to tennis following all those health and injury issues, there were a lot of so-called observers in the game who believed that even she would not make it back to the top of women’s tennis. That aspect however was not in her mind because Serena does what she has to and she knows best about herself, but she has proven them all wrong.

“There’s often times that, in my particular situation, I never thought I’d play again,” said Serena. “Then I thought I’d never be able to win tournaments or Grand Slams. No.1 was so far off.  I mean, it was always a dream, but, you know, I was No.1 when tragedy struck, and it was just an awful thing to happen. So I’m happy that I’m back.”

During the tournament she knew that she could get back to be at the top but did not want to focus on it. She didn’t want it distracting her from the job at hand which was to win matches; otherwise that ranking would not have happened.

“I think I would have put too much pressure on myself, like it’s here, and everyone is, ‘all you have to do is get to the semis’, and, you know, I do have tough matches to play,” said Serena who became emotional on the court.

“I didn’t expect that reaction at all.  I didn’t expect that reaction.  It was completely surprising to me, but it was nice.  It was really genuine, and it felt good and completely unexpected.”

“I didn’t imagine that it meant that much to me. I did not expect to not be able to stop crying.  I didn’t expect to feel that way at all.            I just thought I would be happy and, you know, just move on to the next round.  But my reaction was completely unexpected from me.”

Well there is still another round to play and a tournament to try and win. Next up is Maria Sharapova.