Turn Out the Lights…

…the party’s over.

Serena Williams’s search for the ultimate prize of the Calendar Grand Slam in 2015 ended Friday afternoon with high drama in the third set of her US Open semi-final match against Roberta Vinci on the courts of Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. Roberta Who??

Exactly. Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy, was a very long shot to win. The odds makers had her at 200:1 or thereabouts – depending on your bookie. Now that’s an underdog.Think David and Goliath, the first recorded upset in a match that was crucial to a lot of folks in days of yore. In the biblical account David the little shepherd boy goes up against the great Philistine warrior giant Goliath and manages to take him down with a single  stone from a  slingshot. Score David 1, Goliath 0.

In her press conference following the loss, Serena looked like a giant who had been slain by a barrage of unbelievable shots from an opponent comparable in rank to the little shepherd boy. Surely Goliath must have had a similar shocked expression on his face as he tried to figure out what hit him before he fell to the ground.

The tennis world reeled from the results of both semi-finals in which the top two players lost, and the widely anticipated match-up between Serena and Simona in the final was not to be. The media scrambled to find a new story line, and the ticket-holders for the final were disappointed in the lost opportunity to watch an American sports icon make history in her country’s most prestigious tournament.

The Serena Saga came to an unceremonious end with much doom and gloom in the atmosphere at the Arthur Ashe arena, but as the poet Kahlil Gibran wrote: The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on.

Tom Rinaldi’s interview with Roberta Vinci after her match with Serena introduced an Italian tennis player with a great smile and sense of humor to go along with her slingshot.  She was the beginning of a new story that captivated tennis fans and gave the world an unprecedented opportunity to witness a magical moment in sports in an American tennis final that belonged to Italy.

It’s why they play the game.

To be continued.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections 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. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Reflections, sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Turn Out the Lights…

  1. Pingback: Turn Out the Lights… | Red's Rants and Raves

  2. Luanne @ TFK says:

    That was just amazing. I was both sad and gleeful, for some reason. Your description of David and Goliath is apt.


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