Recently, I have heard media talking heads state, as if fact, that Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time.
I think it started when retired tennis player John McEnroe said Serena Williams was the best female tennis player in the world, but when asked why he qualified it said compared to top male players "she'd be like 700." https://www.npr.org/...ams-light-up-twitter
Now it seems Nike, in its recent Kaepernick commercial, is claiming Serena Williams is "the greatest athlete ever." Not the greatest female athlete. Not the greatest tennis player. Not the greatest living athlete. But the greatest athlete of all time. You can view the commercial here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mreQsQrDF-A&feature=share
In view of the fact that she lost to the 203rd best male, how can anyone make this claim? Thoughts?
What was more intriguing at that particular Australian Open was that the two siblings had something of an inflated understanding of their abilities, developed from their being fresh-faced, and still in need of a few life lessons learned. So they marched themselves into the menâ€™s ATP office to announce rather confidently they were ready to beat any tour player ranked around the Top 200 if someone wanted to take the challenge.
It just so happened that Karsten Braasch of Germany, once a top-40 player, but at the time ranked 203rd, was in ear shot. He thought it would be fun so stepped up to say heâ€™d be happy to take them on.
The date was set and the day arrived. Braasch played a warmup round of golf in the morning, then came to Melbourne Park. The threesome went out to a back court where each sister would have a one-set shot at Braasch. Word had spread around the grounds that the event was taking place, which caused tournament officials to restrict admittance to the area to only those with badges.
Braasch would smoke cigarettes and sip beer during the changeovers, and to be honest no longer looked the part of a fit professional athlete. It made no matter. Braasch led 5-0 over Serena before winning the set 6-1, and then posted a 6-2 set victory over Venus.
It was all in good fun, but 19 years later, and a record six Australian Open titles later, Williams, laughingly, insisted recall of the event was not in her memory bank.
â€śI forgot about that, actually,â€ť she said, smiling, on Saturday. â€śGosh, I donâ€™t remember that at all. Gosh, that was forever ago. I donâ€™t remember what year it was.
â€śI have a terrible memory,â€ť she added, still smiling.
Maturity is a valuable attribute to possess, and Williams now understands that as dominant as sheâ€™s been on the womenâ€™s tour, when it comes to the guys, sheâ€™s pretty much out of their league.
So when asked how she might do against a guy ranked No. 200 today â€” that would be Noah Rubin, who gave Roger Federer a tough time before the great one ousted the young American qualifier 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the second round last Wednesday â€” she smartly didnâ€™t venture a guess.
â€śI donâ€™t know,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™m pretty much focused on womenâ€™s tennis right now. I have to focus on that.â€ť