When WTA released the current women rankings on Monday, former world number one, Serena Williams, dropped to 175 position in the world ,her lowest ever ranking since 1997 and most tennis enthusiast said its time for Serena to retire from the game. Will she ever bounce back to world’s number one?
Serena came into the tennis scene with her sister Venus in 1995 and in 1996, she was ranked 306 in the world, that same year she defeated Monica Seles and
Mary Pierce who were ranked number four and seven respectively becoming the lowest-ranked player in the open era to defeat two Top 10 opponents in one tournament. She became number one in the ranking for the first time in 2002, also becoming the second African American woman to ever achieve such a feat. She injuries she suffered a long spell of injuries between 2004 and 2006 during which she fell in rankings to 139 in the world and there were calls she for her to retire from the game then.
But with streaks of good results in the Wimbledon, Australian and French Open saw her return to number five in the rankings in 2007 and finished the year as number seven.A US Open title in 2008 brought her back to number one since 2003 and she ended the year as number two. She won the 2009 Australian Open title and regained her world number one ranking.
An accident in July 2010 saw her miss the remainder of the year and she missed the Australian Open early this year and due to her inactivity, her ranking dropped to number 12, her lowest ranking since March 2007,she also withdrew from the French Open and returned in time for the Wimbledon Open going into the tournament as world number 25, but her shock defeat in the fourth round to Marion Bartoli , made her fall 150 spots to become the world’s number 175, her lowest ranking since 1997, when she was a budding professional.
Serena with her 13 Grand Slam titles is regarded as one of the best female tennis player of all time. Her forehand is considered to be among the most powerful shots in the women’s game as is her double-handed backhand, her aggressive play, a “high risk” style, is balanced in part by her serve, which combines great power and placement with very high consistency. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and only the fifth woman in history to do so.
She was also the first woman to hold all four Grand Slam doubles titles simultaneously since Martina Hingis did so in 1998 (with sister Venus Williams). Her 13 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list.]Williams ranked fourth in Grand Slam women’s singles titles won during the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). She has won more Grand Slam titles in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles than any other active female player. Serena has won two Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles. She has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history.
With this latest free fall in ranking, can she prove her doubters wrong again by clawing back to number one?for one, age is no longer on her side, she is 29 and will be 30 in September. Because of her series of injuries, it will take time for her to regain her peak form and like we saw at Wimbledon, she is still match rusty. It may take time but Serena has all it takes to dominate women tennis again.
Unlike in the past when Serena and her sister Venus dominated female tennis, it is different now as the three Grand Slam titles this year have been won by three different people, current world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, has not won a single Grand Slam title. Female tennis has been inconsistent for the past two years, if Serena can regain her peak form and her mental toughness back, there is nothing that can stop her from becoming number one again. Only time will tell.