Serena Williams is a force to be reckoned with, the 40-year-old is a 39-time grand slam champion, 23 of which are grand slam singles titles. In the span of 15 years, stretching from 2002 to 2017, Williams was ranked no. 1 in the world by the WTA on 8 separate occasions. On the 6th occasion, she retained the spot for 186 consecutive weeks, tying with German legend Steffi Graf. With a cumulative 317 weeks atop the list, Serena ranks behind Graf and Martina Navratilova. Along with elder sister Venus, she has won 3 Olympics doubles gold medals, to add to her singles gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Having turned pro in 1995, Serena Williams has been playing tennis for the entirety of her adult life.
While her longevity can scarce be questioned, her inability to win a grand slam for the last 4 years has made fans skeptical. Her last major win came in the Australian Open 2017, where she defeated Venus to lift the trophy. It was later revealed that she managed the incredible feat whilst being pregnant with her first child, who was born later that year. However, ever since making her comeback post-maternity leave, Serena Williams has been unable to work her magic. Despite having made it to major finals, she hasn’t been able to win the elusive 24th grand slam title, which would put her at par with Margaret Court.
In a recent interview, Serena Williams’ compatriot Andy Roddick was questioned about her future in tennis.
“She will not be satisfied with a quarter or semi-final appearance” – Andy Roddick
Serena Williams is currently ranked 41st in the world. She has confirmed her appearance at the 2022 Australian Open. In an interview conducted by Tennis Channel which revolved around the upcoming grand slam, Andy Roddick joined Jim Courier.
When asked about Serena, Roddick said she has no interest in being a “ceremonial player” who only makes quarterfinal or semifinal appearances. “I assure you she would not be sticking around just to be a ceremonial player. She will not enter events until she thinks that she can still win them. She is not going to be the one that’s out there satisfied with making a semifinal making a quarterfinal. She is out there to win. I hope she is healthy enough to get that chance.”
“I did not make it through 30s, can’t imagine what 40 looks like” – Roddick on Serena’s longevity
Andy Roddick admired Serena Williams’ longevity in the sports, saying “The biggest question for me is can she train hard enough while maintaining health. I did not make it to 30 so I can’t imagine what 40 looks like with a training regime of a world-class athlete. And does she have that great mix of being in shape without getting hurt and without causing her body too much stress.”
What Andy Roddick thinks Serena Williams can improve on?
Andy Roddick made some astute observations about Serena Williams’ service games. He said “If she can fix her serve and first-serve percentage. In the last couple of years, she has had more up and down days with her serve. The variance between the good days and the bad days with her serve is more severe. If she can find a good rhythm with her serve, she still has a look at the basket, she can still get it done. I hope we see it, it’s highly unpredictable these days.” Roddick admitted that while it’s possible, it’s unpredictable.