Tennis expert Heinz Günthardt about Serena Williams
The best tennis show ever
Serena Williams is making her final appearance at the US Open. Whether it’s the best of all times is debatable. It is clear that no one has put on a better show than her.
Serena Williams at the US Open – it will be her last time.
It’s 1996 in Manhattan Beach when Richard Williams (80) not only explains to me how to play tennis, but also that his daughter Venus (42) is number one in the world. ‘Until she’s replaced by Serena, her sister. Because she’s even better because she has a bigger killer instinct.”
I had to smile. In 1999 in Indian Wells I was sitting in the pits at the final between Steffi Graf (53) and Serena Williams (40). I’ve lost my smile. I brood For the first time since I’ve been training Steffi Graf, she’s playing against an opponent who is athletically equal – just as fast on foot, just as powerful.
This is where the parallels end, however. While Steffi gives the impression that she hides her face behind her hair, Serena throws her hair back and is literally vying for attention. With success: every shot, every gesture, every movement commanded the full attention of the packed stadium.
«I will dominate – and you will like it»
When she later appears in the players’ lounge after the press conference, she draws everyone’s attention again. As if her thoughts were: “Look here. I am young, strong, talented and beautiful. I will dominate – and you will like it.”
More than 20 years later, Serena plays at the US Open for the last time. Is she the greatest tennis player of all time? That’s up for debate. Margaret Court (80) has won more Grand Slam tournaments and Steffi Graf a lot more in percentage terms. But where there is no debate is that Serena Williams has put on the greatest tennis show of all time.