What is this great sadness about Serena Williams’ 2015 in tennis?
There is nothing to be sad about. Serena had a fantastic year!
But what did happen in 2015 is that Serena became a victim of expectations. She was so good that we created a new goal for her to reach, a penultimate standard that wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t enough for her to be the best in the world. We wanted a calendar- year slam.
Now, she had already played THE match of the U.S. Open, the match of the year in winning against her sister, Venus, Tuesday night.
That match was must-see TV.
That match drew scores of non-tennis fans to a game they usually ignore.
That match drew a record number of viewers. For tennis fans like me, it was a Super Bowl, if the Bowl came before a playoff game.
That match drew families around the set together like nothing I can remember.
Serena Williams is tennis. She is recognized around the world. She is beloved by millions. She inspires dreams and has redefined beauty.
Serena won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon this year.
So this was a winning year for Serena, and I hope, for one that she remembers to celebrate.
ROCHELLE RILEY is a writer whose essays here are about her personal thoughts and adventures. No reprints without permission.
You can read her columns at www.freep.com/rochelleriley and follow her on Twitter @rochelleriley.