French Open in 2015 is just as important for Serena Williams as any other competition. She beat her opponent from Belarus on Saturda; after losing the fist set 3-6, she fought even harder and came back to take the next two sets, and the match itself in the end. Williams is whole-heartedly trying to add to her trophy case, with another French Open win in women’s singles this year.
Williams was not playing well on the first day of the competition, and she was losing her focus on winning this year’s French Open for the women’s singles. She reminded herself of how much she really wanted to win, and fought hard to make it happen. On Monday, June 1, she beat another American, Sloane Stephens. After losing the first set she came back in the second, and third sets to take the match. It was her third consecutive win against Stephens. When the French Open started on May 19, Williams was struggling, and her frustrations were evident, but then suddenly she started winning and playing like the 19 time grand slam women’s champ everyone has come to know. Her shots were on target, and she was able to direct her anger at another opponent Victoria Azarenka, which they had exchanged glances and words at the replay of an important moment in the match. Williams will have to beat Sara Errani for a place in the semi-finals.
Williams gives over two hours of lessons through her website, and it has a one-on-one approach. She is ranked at number one, and has won almost 20 Grand Slam titles. Her lessons teach skills for improving ones mental game, professional fitness exercises, and more. Even if someone is just starting to play, Williams can show them how to improve their game on or off the tennis court. Consistency is the main part of being able to handle groundstrokes well; her father did drills with her every day, which she still religiously continues daily. Such drills include trouble shooting, foot work, and back hand skills that Williams uses to challenge her opponent. In the fourth lesson, Williams shows her student how to control the court, and how a good defense is a better offense. In lesson five ,she teaches that tennis is over 65 percent psychological; therefore, Williams was always able to come back from a losing game that would be for anyone else impossible to turn around. Lesson six contains her explaination towards the proper method for playing close to the net, as well as how she volleys and smacks the ball so her opponent cannot return it.
The French Open is not the only commitment Williams has, as she also heads the Serena Williams Foundation for young adults that are victims of violent crimes. The foundation provides food, shelter, education, and foster care. There is a secondary goal to help children all around the world to receive an education. This goal is achieved by providing scholarships, and grants to high school students that meet requirements, and is available for all students nationwide.
Williams stated that she is going to keep playing as strong as she can, until she is knocked out and is not physically able to continue. When it comes to tennis, Williams has an abundance of energy and there is not anything that can make her run out of steam. She said to the press, after she fought her way out of the losing streak that she was falling into at the beginning of the French Open, that she reminded herself how much she really wanted to win and she put her focus on this in order to make it happen.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
The New York Times: Maria Sharapova can not shake a cold or her opponent; Serena Williams advances
BBC: Maria Sharapova loses, but Serena Williams survives at French Open
SerenaWilliams.com: Serena Williams foundation
Masterclass: Serena Williams teaches Tennis
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo 2 courtesy of Carine06’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License