It seems that all sports records, so tall and mighty when first accomplished, must inevitably fall one day. That is not the case in professional tennis, a sport more balanced and competitive than perhaps any other. Here, just one player has managed to win all four Grand Slam titles in one year during the Open Era, and her name is Steffi Graf. Graf came from Germany and was the most dominant player tennis had ever seen, cruising to an Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam titles and a legacy that remain unrivaled. However, as we have waited so long since that fateful 1988 Grand Slam run, there is one woman today who could match the feat; Serena Williams.
Williams is most certainly the Steffi Graf of our generation. Her 19 Grand Slam titles have been tremendous, and her continuation as the world’s number 1 woman is remarkable given her age of 33 (Graff had retired at 30). With her title at the 2015 Australian Open, Williams has opened the door again, offering a possibility that she too may claim four Grand Slam titles in one year. Though it’s clearly not a likely result, if anyone is capable this year, it’s Serena Williams.
Her game revolves around sheer power and athletic dominance. Her strength enables her to outlast opponents, and the velocity of her serves is scintillating. Her intimidation factor often leads to straight set victories, as she achieved both in Australia and at the Miami Open this year.
However, to win four Grand Slam titles in one year and match Steffi Graf, she’ll need a bit of good fortune. For one, she needs to remain healthy, a catalyst for anyone of her age. Williams has withdrawn from several tournaments this year on account of injury, and that is a primary concern. Another factor is her tendency to beat her self on occasion. Sometimes a few unforced errors leads her to capitulate and collapse. Both will need to be avoided for Serena to convert 2015 into a record-breaking year.
“Obviously I’d like to do it. But I feel that if I did it, I would like to retire. I do not want to retire because I would love to play the Australian Open and the Olympics. I have many cute outfits to show next year. I want to keep playing. I’ve already won three Grand Slams in a row, and it is a wonderful thing,” said Serena.
But if anyone in today’s game is up to the task it is Serena Williams. Having achieved so much in the sport her focus is on building her legacy, and if she can remain healthy and take four Grand Slam titles in one year, she’ll place herself upon the top of women’s tennis, leaving her as the greatest player of all time. Her task continues at the third grand slam event of the year: 2015 Wimbledon Championships.
Do you think Serena can do it?