Williams closing in on record
Serena Williams has reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, and her achievements are inspiring. She is closing in on a record-equalling 24th major and the former Wimbledon champions Marion Bartoli believes her daughter has been her “motivation”. Williams has shunned the notion that young mothers cannot do extraordinary things in sports.
“Serena’s barely played any tennis and now she’s come back and she is already playing at this level. But she’s in another category, she’s a superhero. She can turn up and win Grand Slams,” the 2013 Wimbledon champion said of Williams, who plays Germany’s Julia Goerges in Thursday’s semi-finals.
Serena Williams wasn’t always an athlete many warmed up to. At first, the braided hair and the proportions of her character, her deportment, mannerisms and general mien were so culturally different, fans saw her as a great blast of colour and curiosity as much as a tennis world beater. But over the past 20 years, Serena has developed her superhero persona as a tennis mum, most notably after giving birth to her daughter. She has earned a newfound respect and admiration.
Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the birth of her daughter in September, with her last trophy being the 2017 Australia Open champion.
Now, Williams is preparing for her 35th Grand Slam semi-final with German 13th seed Julia Goerges on Thursday and could be on the verge of a 10th Wimbledon final appearance and 30th in all four Grand Slams.
Julia Görges is into her first grand slam semi-final after ending the run of Kiki Bertens, from the Netherlands, with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory. “Probably I don’t have many words today to describe the moment I’m going through right now,” Görges said.
“It’s pretty unreal for me at the moment to get to that stage at a grand slam. It’s been always a dream for every player, to be in a semis at Wimbledon.
Williams hammered Görges when they met at the French Open last month and is on the way back to her best, quicker perhaps than anyone expected. There is work to be done but she is on the right track, with her ranking due to rise from 181 to at least 51.
“Well, it’s better than 183 or whatever I am,” she said. “Got to keep trekking on, though. Serena Williams, 51, eh. It doesn’t have that same ring to it. The ’1’ part does, but not the ’5’. Keep going.”