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Wimbledon 2022: Is age finally catching up with Serena Williams?
Thursday, 07/07/2022
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Following a torn hamstring at the 2021 edition of Wimbledon, the world's most decorated female tennis star, Serena Williams, was sidelined from competitive action for 52 weeks. But this was nothing new, right? Williams has become renowned for making comebacks throughout her 27-year professional career.
After tedious knee surgery in 2003, it took less than twelve months before she was the grand slam champion. Turning up to the Australian Open in 2007 with a No.81 ranking didn’t stop her, as she walked away with the title. A pulmonary embolism in 2011 nearly took her life and still couldn’t stop this legend, as she went on to play some of the best tennis years in her career. Most recently, in 2017, complications with a near-death childbirth couldn’t hold her back, as Williams went to place in another four grand slam finals.
During the peak of her career, Williams was untouchable, and together, the Williams sisters were also a force to be reckoned with. The best Michigan online gambling sites were fearful of providing odds on Williams, as bettors knew she was a sure thing and the support from her Michigan roots was always inevitable.
But for all the years that Williams was cashing in those winning bet slips in Michigan, as fans, we believed her incredible feats would last forever. And at certain stages, it would seem that way.
During her extensive pro tennis career, Williams has witnessed it all, and her tenure has long survived that of her retired peers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how physically gifted or mentally robust one might be; nothing lasts forever. And we may be witnessing the final chapter of her career after last week’s Wimbledon 2022 performance.
Wimbledon 2022: Williams vs. Tan 
It was time for Williams to make her singles return in the same venue she’d torn her hamstring one year ago. She didn’t look herself; low in confidence and less energetic than usual, she came back from a set down and genuinely gave it her all but subsequently lost 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7) to France’s Harmony Tan.
Williams first-round exit was a surprise; the ranking and experience of Tan was tailor-made to assist the American in an “easy” matchup. Tan, ranked 115 in the world, proved the doubters wrong with her tricky style of play and a wide selection of shots.
“When I saw the draw, I was really scared,” Tan commented after the match. “Because it’s Serena Williams; she’s a legend. I was like, oh my God. How can I play? If I could win one game or two games, it’s really good for me.”
Despite failing to find her groove in the beginning, Williams took the lead 4-2, 40-15 in the first set, and her chance of victory was positive. However, Tan didn’t stop; relentless drop shots and slices from the backhand and forehand which forced Williams to move and disrupt her flow. Tan stole the set, and it became apparent we weren’t viewing the same old Serena.
“Today, I gave all I could do,” Williams said. “Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago, I could have given more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you must be able to be OK with that. And that’s all I can do.”
When questioned if she’d ever return to Wimbledon: “That’s a question I can’t answer,” she responded. “Like, I don’t know. Who knows? Who knows where I’ll pop up.”
Williams isn’t finished yet 
Although retirement has been on the end of every critic’s mouth, Williams commented that this first-round defeat is motivating, and she’ll be on the practice court in preparation for the US Open. “It definitely makes me want to hit the practise courts because when you’re playing, not bad, and you’re so close. Like I said, any other opponent probably would have suited my game better. So, yeah, I feel like that it’s actually kind of like, ‘OK, Serena, you can do this if you want.”
Since the loss, Serena has reiterated in multiple press conferences that she has no idea how long it’ll be until she retires. But whether she puts the racket down today, tomorrow, or in five years, her legacy is cemented as one the greatest to ever step on the court.