Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Serena



Not much more needs to be said after her match against Daniela Hantuchova is there? When the woman known in some circles as Terror Fabulous puts tennis on ESPN's front page (not the tennis page folks. When you logged into the main site you saw Serena celebrating her win) a sports legend has been made.

ESPN wisely let Bonnie DeSimone pen their front page article.

Calf injury can't slow Serena's comeback season

By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com

WIMBLEDON, England -- It was a jarring sight, like seeing a lioness on the prowl abruptly declawed in midstride.
Serena Williams has showed flashes of emotional vulnerability in this comeback season, admitting how low she sank following the murder of her half sister and a competitive lull, recently describing herself as having been "at the bottom of the barrel" during some dark months last year.

But never has Williams -- who usually embodies power and intimidation -- seemed so physically exposed as she did late in the second set of her fourth-round match Monday against Daniela Hantuchova.

Tied 5-all after winning the first set, Williams had just lost a point on Hantuchova's serve when she winced and pounded her racket on the visibly bulging muscle in her left calf as if she were smacking a balky soda machine. But it didn't work.

Williams crumpled in pain on Centre Court with what was later diagnosed as acute muscle spasms. She howled in agony and reflexively pushed trainer Amber Donaldson away at one point as Donaldson tried to massage the knot out. A few minutes later, Williams had to use her racket to prop herself up and hobble to her chair, where she remained standing as Donaldson used a numbing spray and tape to try to stabilize her.

Her parents, Oracene and Richard, were also standing in their courtside seats, their faces mirror images of concern. Sister Venus looked stricken. Hantuchova made a brief visit, bundled in a sweater and towel.

Serena wiped her eyes as she limped back to the baseline. From there, the match turned into Wimbledon's version of "Wild Kingdom," the old television show that repeatedly demonstrated there are two kinds of creatures on the planet: predators and lunch.


Bonnie DeSimone

You can say what you want about who the stars are in women's tennis. You can feel pretty or revel in your reputation as a pit bull. But when all is said and done the woman everyone wrote off is still the star. With Venus win over a tenacious Akiko Morigami yesterday it was all about the Williams sisters. And the drama did not have to be manufactured.

1 comment:

MadProfessah said...

Dayum I love me some Bonnie DeSimone!