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How She Fared in 2009: Serena Williams, Nearing Legendary Status 1

Posted on December 13, 2009 by Claudia Celestial Girl
Sererna Williams began 2009 by winning her fourth Australian Open title.

Sererna Williams began 2009 by winning her fourth Australian Open title.

The Serena Slam took place in long ago 2002-2003 (leading to major titles No. 2-7; a win of five major titles in six Grand Slam events).

Then came injury, a sister’s murder, a notorious match of atrocious line calling that knocked her out of the USO in 2004, and a slip to No. 81 ranking. Poor performances. Criticism for being AWOL from segments of the tour.

Then, a triumph. A Grand Slam win in the Australian Open in 2007 (major title No. eight) that saw Serena hit a resurgence in her career. In 2008, the retirement of a major rival; the finals of Wimbledon; a win at the USO (major title No. nine), (not to mention continuing doubles’ titles including yet another Olympic gold medal) led to a simmering argument over who is the “real” world No. 1 on the Women’s Tour.

2009

Coming into the Australian Open, the usual criticisms abounded. Serena didn’t look very good in Sydney in January (losing to Dementieva 6-3 6-1). In fact, Serena looked “fat”—like she could bench press a dump truck (paraphrasing humorous remarks by Andy Roddick exchanged on camera because Serena claimed she had beaten Andy when he was 12 years old), and the press pestered her about being out of shape, overweight, and not ready for the majors. These (very funny remarks) can be seen here.

The top ladies in the draw included photogenic and personable stars: Jancovic, Ivanovic, Dementieva, also Kuznetsova, and Safina. Super-photogenic and telegenic star Maria Sharapova was still nursing the shoulder injury that would keep her out of the tour for about eight months.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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