Two of the biggest tennis players of all time are Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Journalists and commentators have repeated this concept so often, by present and ex-players, that it is presumed to have an almost self-evident quality. For years, Williams broke records and wowed people on the women’s trip; on the men’s, Federer did the same. Federer is 38, while this September Williams will transform that age.
Both are illustrious careers in the twilight phases, and both join the U.S. in 2019. Open as nominal contestants, which starts playing today. Which means you have to label them at least as prospective winners — even if there’s a strong possibility they’re going to go back empty-handed.
To justify their respective legacies, neither Williams nor Federer needs to win another grand-slam title. But while both have already accomplished so much, they still have something important at risk, making them intriguing at this year’s U.S. presences. Open.
It’s the opportunity to create history for Williams. If she wins, she will match the record of 24 grand-slam singles titles from Margaret Court, mostly from any tennis player. For Federer, preserving history is the need. He presently holds twenty single grand-slam titles, most for a masculine player. But on his heels are Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic— his two biggest rivals. Nadal has 18 single titles from the grand-slam, Djokovic 16. Both are significantly younger than Federer and play tennis at the greatest stage (Djokovic is presently ranked No. 1 in the globe while Nadal is No. 2) which means they each have a valid shot to surpass the Swiss maestro in the most significant statistical category of tennis.
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During her adolescence, she started playing tennis in Compton, California, away from a traditional tennis talent hotbed, where she worked under her dad and coach, Richard Williams ‘ guidance. She spent the early phases of her career in the shadow of her large sister, Venus Williams, a former No. 1 world who won seven titles of her grand-slam singles.
Serena Williams on the court combines raw power with brave shot-making in a way that even her most skilled opponents tend to overwhelm. In this year’s U.S. first-round Open, she will face Maria Sharapova, an accomplished player whose match breaks down just about every moment she faces Williams, five-time grand-slam singles champion. All that Williams has accomplished — often despite unusually hostile conditions — affirms her virtuosity.
In Federer’s case, it’s the particular way he performs the game that so many are always enthusiastic about. In the history of men’s tennis, the quality of his shot-making and the apparent ease with which he annihilates rivals are unparalleled. There are legions of playlists from YouTube that document the amazing winners that Federer has hit over the years. As the American Sam Querrey so succinctly put it, “He hits shots that other guys don’t reach,” and Federer tends to do so without ever showing a feeling of effort. Even John McEnroe, who in his day was regarded as the game’s biggest shot maker and a real artist with a racket, produced tennis look grueling.