The world salutes ‘Serena Slam’ after winning her sixth singles title
Against that Serena Williams winning the Wimbledon crown for an astonishing sixth time might have seemed routine but the American deserved all the praise she had coming her way after dealing with the challenge of Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
Williams has now won 21 Grand Slam titles in the Open Era and sits one behind Steffi Graf. She has all the motivation she needs heading for the US Open with the so called ‘Serena Slam’ now achieved.
As Jim White said in the Sunday Telegraph: “She has frequently claimed over the past fortnight that she is playing these days entirely for fun. If so, it was fun driven by a guttural howl. Growing angrier and more intense, she was thumping the ball back at Muguruza in a manner so furious it insisted the ball had done her some personal harm. Shot after shot flew across the net fired by naked aggression as the Spaniard tried to match her opponent’s every ferocious thump.”
It took Serena Williams exactly 83 minutes to win her sixth career Championship and 21st Grand Slam title on Saturday, and just seconds for the world to react to her latest – and most stunning – achievement.
But it wasn’t just the tennis world celebrating Williams’ latest Wimbledon victory; the First Lady of the United States also took notice: “Wow! Huge congrats to @SerenaWilliams for her win at Wimbledon. We’re all so proud of you! –mo,” Michelle Obama tweeted.
From Kobe Bryant to Billie Jean King, Serena Williams has been hailed a champion and a role model since winning the ladies’ final on Saturday afternoon, her fourth Grand Slam title in a row.
#SerenaSlam! I love her. What an athlete, what a role model, what a woman!
J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 11, 2015
Wimbledon 2014 champion Petra Kvitova was gracious in passing over the mantle to Williams, the new queen of SW19: “Congratulations @serenawilliams on your #Wimbledon title. Too good #21”, she tweeted, while world No.5 and close friend Caroline Wozniacki said: “Congrats Serena @serenawilliams!! What an achievement! 4 slams in a row and 21 in total! Wow!”.
There was no sign of sibling rivalry from five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, who was quick to herald her younger sister’s win: “Another day, another #Wimbledon title. Congrats @serenawilliams.”
Not long after Williams held the Venus Rosewater Dish aloft on Centre Court, tennis legend and 12-time Grand Slam title-holder Billie Jean King was already looking ahead to the next date on the calendar: “21 and counting… congrats @serenawilliams. You are unstoppable! Looking forward to seeing you play @WorldTeamTennis on July 20.”
NBA star Kobe Bryant showed his support for a fellow sporting great, and had a few words of encouragement for seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer ahead of his clash with defending champion Novak Djokovic on Sunday: “Congrats @serenawilliams #differentanimalsamebeast #museon @rogerfederer its ur go #Wimbledon #vinoteam,” he tweeted.
Rapper Drake, who was courtside for Williams’ victory on Centre Court on Saturday, said the win was just reward for her big appetite at SW19: “Showtime Champ. A big plate for all that food you ate at Wimbledon!” he posted.
Musician John Legend, who attended The Championships with wife Chrissy Teigen just days earlier, said it simply: “#SERENASLAM”.
And acclaimed author JK Rowling added her support for the newest Wimbledon title-holder: “#SerenaSlam! I love her. What an athlete, what a role model, what a woman!” she said.
But for all the celebrations Williams was already looking ahead to her shot at a 22nd Grand Slam title and that elusive calendar Grand Slam. The 33-year-old was quick to correct retired tennis champion and now commentator Andy Roddick when he mused she must already be thinking about Flushing Meadows and the opportunity ahead.
Elsewhere the BBC lauded Williams as “arguably… the most dominant single athlete in sport over the past 15 years”, while the New York Times reported Williams “has endured as few athletes in any sport have, and at age 33 she is in the midst of the most extended stretch of excellence of her career”.
As the messages of congratulations continued to flood in throughout the afternoon, Williams was all but speechless: “No words can describe the feeling I have right now. #SerenaSlam Wow this happened?? It happened in my dreams and it’s happening again now! Thanks so much for all the support… I love you all so much. We did it… Now you know what I have on my mind now… Let’s GOOOOO”.
• Culled from Wimbledon.com