wouldn't take this bet, Judge Judy would've interrupted and asked the
plaintiffs to cut the baloney, Disney wouldn't option this
too much to believe that tennis was blessed with Serena Williams.
Evert, the sun-kissed, ponytailed, ice maiden, golden girl daughter of a longtime
tennis coach, we'd buy that one.
Navratilova, the workhorse who defected from behind the iron curtain
and was as responsible as anyone for upping the game's physical ante,
we can buy that one too.
as incredible as both those champions were, there stories somehow seem
to fit within the acceptable (read: believable) narrative for tennis stars.
Williams though, the woman who just matched the two aforementioned
American legends with her 18th major singles title today...well, I
guess her truth is stranger than any fiction we'd deem credible.
Imagine pitching this script...
start with the characters. The lead, this "Serena Williams" is a
world-beating athlete whose game was largely architected by a father who
was a neophyte to his daughter's chosen sport. Yes, others
contribute, Rick Macci makes a key cameo in flashback scenes when she's a youngster and Patrick
Mouratoglou shows up in some latter day scenes, but by and large, Serena Williams' game was built by her father Richard.
firebrand of a dad is a maverick in every sense of the word. He'd almost be a caricature with his outsized personality and
penchant for calling it as he sees it, feasibility be damned..if he wasn't also right. At one
point this guy looks straight into the camera and tells us that his daughters are going to be No. 1
and No. 2 in the world someday. Everyone looks at him like he's crazy, eventually he's hailed as all but a prophet. He ends up going down as the coach of
two players who earned more than 40 major titles. Credit where credit's due,
those numbers are right up there with newly minted Hall of Famer Nick
Bollettieri. Oh yeah, this Serena Williams has a big sister named
Venus. The girl with whom Serena shares a bedroom with in the flashback scenes becomes a four-time Olympic gold medalist too. Oh, and a five-time
Wimbledon singles champion and slam dunk tennis hall of famer too.
and the backstory. Serena's an African-American girl raised in one of
America's most notorious concrete jungles, Compton, California who, over the course of the proceedings, transforms into the belle of the ball on the ivy covered Centre Court at the All
England Club. You buying any of this yet?
This Serena Williams wins her first major at 17 years old. She'll beat the defending
champion and World No. 2, Lindsay Davenport in the semis then beat
the World No. 1 in the final, Martina Hingis in the final, earning a
measure of revenge as Hingis had just beaten her sister in the semis.
Along the way, this Serena Williams will win the career grand slam
(beating her big sister in all four legs), lose another sister caught in
the crossfire of gang violence, date a big-time rapper, date a
big-time director, become a (mediocre) actress, sell clothes on the Home Shopping Network, become a
nail technician, land multiple eight figure endorsement contracts, almost lose her life to a pulmonary embolism at the height of her
powers and ultimately match America's most legendary tennis titans with an
18th major title a full 15 years after claiming her first. So, what do you think?
There's only one possible response..."Got
another story kid? No one's gonna believe that yarn."