She's 31 years old. The last time we saw her one of her ankles was the size of a grapefruit. And still with an ankle swollen so badly her foot was distorted and a back that was giving her grief she tried to play and of course thought she should have won. But she came away close to number one and showed up in Doha needing two wins to take the crown Victoria Azarenka did everything in her power to hold on to. It wasn't a walk in the park for Serena Williams - you knew that was who I was talking about right? Petra Kvitova roused herself from her recent slumber and had Serena down 2-0 and 4-1. But Serena was not going to lose. And thanks to her grit and determination an American sits on top of the WTA.
No more "real number one" talk. No more "considered to be" number one. She is number one. She's survived blood clots and surgery to repair tendons torn by glass. There's a scar on her knee, a souvenir of arthroscopic surgery. And these are just some of the injuries we are aware of. She's survived bad calls, heavy fines and disrespect to take her place in the history of women's tennis. Congratulations Serena Williams.
The Top Four
Let's look at the Quarterfinal Results of the WTA event in Doha, Qatar.
Singles - Quarterfinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (6) Sara Errani (ITA) 62 62
(2) Serena Williams (USA) d. (7) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 36 63 75
(3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (8) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 62 64
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (10) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 75
Notice anything? Seeds 1-4 made it through to the semi finals defeating seeds 6-8 and 10. Marion Bartoli, seeded #9, lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.
I've seen some talk about the four women who sit on top of the WTA rankings and some not so subtle references to the Big Four of the ATP. I think it's time to give credit where credit is due. These four women manage to make it to the late rounds - quarter and semi final rounds - in almost every tournament they enter. Each woman has her own distinct style and her own rabid fans. Consistency is no longer a word used solely to defend slamless number one ranked players in the WTA. The top three women have all won Slams so that story can be set aside for now. There are many reasons to bash the WTA but for now I think it's fair to take a minute and celebrate the fact that for once the WTA has four players it can compare to the Big Four of the ATP without anyone snickering in the background. Good work ladies!