Both Have Prevailed


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Venus Williams and her little sister Serena

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For the past seventeen years the Williams sisters have carried the heavy burden of American tennis on their shoulders, and the load has never been an easy one. Their two-person dynasty has been controversial, but their attitudes about the sport they represent have matured as their games have become more powerful. Their popularity increased as they became more comfortable with their celebrity and confident in their games. They grew up in front of a nation and, eventually, the world.

Never in their 27 professional matches have the theater and drama been more exciting than last night in the quarterfinals of the US Open under the lights in New York City.  Approximately 23,000 fans came to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows to watch a match that was more than a game, and the Williams sisters delivered another thrilling exhibition of tennis at the highest level. As the ESPN commentators noted before the match, this was a big-time American sporting event with all the bells and whistles we love in our fascination with sports.

Tom Rinaldi who has replaced Dick Enberg as the TV tennis philosopher who adds the stories to evoke our emotional attachment to an event, made these remarks prior to the match: “In an individual sport, their stories will always be linked…in our view of the Williams sisters, we see champions sharing a court, a desire to win, and a name. True, one will win –  but both have prevailed.”

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Serena Williams is now two matches shy of her goals of a Calendar Grand Slam in 2015 and a total of 22 Slam titles to tie Steffi Graf’s record in the Open Era. Two matches…and counting.

To be continued.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is an essayist with humorist tendencies who periodically indulges her desires to write outside her genre by trying to write fiction and poetry. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press is publishing her collection of first-person accounts of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBT organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBT history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published four nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and a group of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike and Charly. Her Texas roots are never too far from her thoughts.
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6 Responses to Both Have Prevailed

  1. Pingback: Both Have Prevailed | Red's Rants and Raves

  2. Luanne says:

    I loved the snippet of the Billie Jean King interview I saw on TV about this subject. She was so flummoxed at the thought of whether one or the other winning would be better for the sport.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billie Jean King is a wonder herself. I can’t think of a single individual who has done more for women’s athletics in our country than her…I must have missed the interview, although I don’t know how!
      Do you think too much tennis is as bad as too much poetry?? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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