Serena Williams seems to have conquered the inevitable decline imposed by “Father Time”. At 32 years old, the world’s number 1 ranked woman is playing the best tennis of her life, most recently dominating the China Open to yet another WTA victory! With victories at the French Open and the US Open, Williams has taken 2 more Grand Slam events this year. However, at the wrong side of 30, how much time does Serena really have left at the top of the tennis world?
30 is typically the breaking point in most professional tennis players’ careers. More than a decade of intense matches puts serious strain on the joints, and the never-ending stream of young hopefuls will always put a challenge upon the veteran stars. In recent years we have already witnessed the decline of Roger Federer, and in that instance it happened fast. After winning Wimbledon in 2012, Federer hasn’t reached a Grand Slam final in 5 attempts, and has suffered surprisingly early losses this year. In his case the meteoric rise of players like Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have quickened his slide.
Perhaps that’s what it will take to dethrone Serena Williams. Until a new competitor really rises up and takes her down, she has the look of someone that could keep on going well into her upper 30’s. The only young woman that looks like she could eventually rise to the challenge is Sloane Stephens, who famously defeated Serena at the Australian Open. But Stephens has yet to reach a Grand Slam final and is still just 20.
Therefore, while the years pile on and on, I still feel that Serena Williams will be the best women’s tennis player for at least several more years, barring a serious injury. She is now the oldest number 1 ranked woman ever in the Open Era of tennis! Her physical dominance should continue to make the entire world of women’s tennis struggle to compete!
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