By Ann Liguori
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Much of the attention here has been on Andy Roddick who decided to announce his retirement on his 30th birthday and whose last appearance ever as a player could be tonight.
Meanwhile there is another 30-year-old American who deserves most of the attention and that would be Serena Williams, the strongest female player in tennis history. Serena has a few more Grand Slam singles championships to win before tying Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert at 18, (Serena owns 14 at the moment). Steffi Graf won 22 Major singles titles and Margaret Court owns the all-time record of winning the most Major Singles Championships at 24.
But I’m convinced that Serena Williams could have beaten any woman in the game, although Steffi Graf would have given her a run for her money by out-smarting her on the court and mixing it up with a variety of shots. But Serena’s sheer power and amazing serve is tough to beat.
Serena needed only 57 minutes to destroy her fourth round opponent this afternoon, Andrea Hlavackova, 6-0 6-0 moving into the quarter-finals, having only dropped 12 games on her way there.
When Serena was asked the other night about whether she was considering retirement anytime soon, given Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick’s retirement announcements, Serena said she was “no where near ready to retire…” A healthy Serena, who turns 31 on September 26, realizes she can continue to make history in the game. She holds 14 Grand Slam singles titles. (She completed the ‘Serena Slam,’ winning all four Grand Slam titles in a row – 2002 Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open and 2003 Australian Open). In addition, Serena and her sister Venus have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and Serena has also won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
Serena and Venus played a third round women’s doubles match Monday evening and the team of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova beat them 6-1, 6-4.
Serena has also won the Gold Medal in singles this past July in London and she and Venus won the Gold in doubles in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
So although Roddick has dominated the headlines with his retirement announcement, the American who deserves just as much attention is Serena, who does what she does best when she’s healthy and that’s winning. #15 is hers for the taking this Saturday!
Is Serena Williams the best women’s tennis player in the history of the sport? Let us know in the comments section below.