Serena Williams broke the record yesterday for most wins at a Grand Slam tournament. The number is 308, which is remarkable considering the maximum number of games you can play at a single Slam is 7 and there are only 4 such tournaments a year (The Australian, French, US Opens and Wimbledon). The 308 wins number put her on top of both male and female tennis players as she surpassed the legendary Roger Federer.
If Serena reaches the final and is victorious, she will surpass Steffi Graf’s long-standing record of 22 Grand Slam championships. With the closest thing she has to a rival, Maria Sharapova, serving a 2-year doping ban and her other rivals not consistent enough to beat her, it’s hard to see how she can be stopped.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if the result is a foregone conclusion it could make matches less interesting and see people just checking the result. I don’t know about you, but I like a little drama in my sport. So without further ado, here are my suggestions on ways we can slow down Serena Williams a bit, so her opponents have a fighting chance.
(Watch her lose surprisingly tomorrow to make me look like an idiot).
Make Serena play with a Wooden Racket.
Serena Williams plays tennis with the Wilson Blade 104. If you click that link there’s some technical mumbo jumbo that means nothing to a casual fan like me. What is certain is that the Wilson Blade has been Serena’s weapon of choice for most, if not all, of her victories. It weighs just over 300 grams, and while weight is not the only metric for a good racket, it’s a good start.
What if we replaced her graphite+basalt composite racket with an old style wooden racket? Wooden rackets used to be the rage, but have been supplanted by supposedly more technologically advanced rackets. They are heavier, and have less of a sweet spot for returns, than the modern rackets.
If she didn’t get to practice with it, you could stop her, at least until she got used to it and proceeded to destroy you.
Make her live on a diet of McDonalds
Serena used to promote McDonald’s, an endorsement which saw me rolling my eyes. Was I supposed to believe that a prime athlete like Serena Williams regularly ate Big Macs and Filet-o-fishes? Still, money is money.
So instead of her nutritious meals, why not have her eat the finest fare from the Golden Arches? Morgan Spurlock who directed the famous documentary Super Size Me, where he ate only McDonald’s for a month. His health markedly deteriorated. However, in Serena’s case, since she’s a world-class athlete, she would most likely burn up most of the 5000 calories a day she’d ingest.
She might not gain the weight, but the effects would be deleterious to a tennis player.
Actually, I just found this video from an earlier Snapchat session this year. This might help but again, it’s only tennis, we don’t want to actually harm her.
Make her play with her weaker hand.
Serena is a right handed player so making her play left handed would be interesting to say the least, and by interesting, I mean close to a train-wreck. Maybe if she had about 10 years to get used to it, she might get somewhere in the game, but players playing with their unnatural hand is a rarity. Two of the more famous ones are Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova and both started training with their off hand very young. Serena is 34 years old.
Make her play in clown shoes.
I think this speaks for itself.