Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg dominated tennis till the end of the 1980s.Then came the Borg-Mc Enroe and the Mc Enroe-Connors match-ups, followed by the Stefan Edberg-Boris Becker and Mats Wilander-Ivan Lendl encounters.It’s not the rivalries — either with Sharapova or Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki or Garbine Muguruza. The French Open, Wimbledon and US Open women’s events have thrown up surprise winners this year in Serena’s absence.Jelena Ostapenko, ranked 47 — won the US Open title.” To this, Navratilova retorted, laughing, “I’d like to punch his lights out!
She says she even refused to stand, like the others, when Serena entered the 2002 Wimbledon Champions Ball.
Brad Gilbert, a former tennis great and TV analyst says, “Serena Williams has wiped out the field.” With her recent break from tennis, interest in the women’s game has therefore waned.
Tennis great, John Newcombe once said that at Wimbledon, “Ladies are simply the candles on the cake.” Times have changed.
Sharapova, on the other hand, is tall, fair-skinned and ‘good looking’; she has consistently earned more money than Serena, through modelling and endorsements, despite winning only one-quarter of her Grand Slam titles.
Could this also be one of the factors motivating Serena to go on court, against the Russian, with all guns blazing? Tennis aficionados, however, believe that Serena’s pursuit of Grand Slam records has provided a hell of a lot of drama for women’s tennis in recent years.