Making headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, Serena Williams has apologized and moved on, focusing her eyes on the prize that is a 17th major tournament victory. After making headlines for her comments about a rape victim, as well as for her comments about rival Maria Sharapova’s personal life, she now wants to atone for her loose tongue with a victory at Wimbledon.
In a Rolling Stone magazine article, Williams discusses the role the victim played in a recent rape case that occurred in Steubenville, Ohio. After explaining that the girl was too drunk for her age, being only 16 years old, that the parents should have taught her not to take drinks from other people, Serena went on to tell Rolling Stone that; “It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position.”
The internet was set afire on Tuesday after the comments were posted on Rolling Stone’s web page, especially the Twitter world, people were outraged by her words. Serena was forced to issue an apology to the girl’s family in the aftermath of the incident. Her apology read “I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.”
Despite denying that she actually said this, Stephen Rodrick who wrote the article, stands by his article and points out that he has it on tape.
Serena took the high road and personally apologized to Maria Sharapova, refusing to engage in a battle of words this close to her competing at Wimbledon for her 17th major championship. She alluded to the relationship Sharapova has with Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov in the same Rolling Stone article she made the rape comments in.
Sharapova attacked Serena after hearing about the comments, replying “If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids” through the media. The relationship Sharapova brought into question in her comments is between Serena and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
With all the apologies out of the way, Serena now has her eyes set on winning a 17th major at Wimbledon. Afraid to lose or disappoint herself, avoiding failure motivates her. As she explains “It’s the biggest factor for me. Like, if I lose, all hell breaks loose, literally. Literally! I go home, I practice harder, I do more,” she said. “I don’t like to lose. … I hate losing more than I love winning. It could be a game of cards — I don’t like it. I really don’t like it.”
Last year’s champion, Serena will enter play as a huge favorite to repeat her title on the grass surface at the All England Club. She enters play with a 31 game winning streak and a record of 43-2 last year, the longest women’s winning streak in 13 years.
Williams has won an incredible three of the past four major tournaments she has played in, giving her all the momentum in the world heading into the event. Despite some slip ups in an interview, Serena has the ability to dominate the tennis world throughout this tournament. A living legend, Serena apologized for her words, and now is eyeing up an astonishing 17th major title at Wimbledon.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express