Brian Phillips is spot on here. I’d argue that Serena might be one of the most underrated athletes of all-time. Amazing that even after such a brilliant season, she’s not ranked #1 in singles.
Serena went 71-5 in singles and doubles combined, won seven singles titles, won the WTA Championships, and casually stormed her way through a field-obliterating summer during which she won Wimbledon singles, won Wimbledon doubles, won the Olympic singles gold medal, won the Olympic doubles gold medal, and won the U.S. Open, mostly by totally annihilating anyone, single or plural, who stood on the other side of the net. She did it all at the age of 30-31, and barely a year removed from a nightmare chain reaction of medical emergencies (lacerated tendons from an accident with broken glass, pulmonary embolism, multiple surgeries, not one tiny bit of a joke) that nearly killed her. I am seeing stars just from writing that sentence, but the attention she got for this from the sports culture at large was, what? Maybe a 10 percent premium over what Andy Roddick pulled down for retiring in a nice way? Maybe 15 percent? Can we get a smattering of polite applause for the supernova in human form, please?
I realize that Serena has become a kind of null factor of awesome that people largely don’t want to deal with … so they don’t. But if Roger Federer had done what she did, or if Maria Sharapova had done it, the population of the world would still need a respirator. Appreciate what she has done; it is astonishing.