In a sporting sense, there always seems to be a major goal that needs to be reached through my fanatical support. Could Henman win that all elusive Wimbledon title? Could Liverpool end their (30 year) drought and win the Premier League? The list goes on but one thing I never had to worry about was Serena Williams winning a slam. It was the only thing certain in tennis aside from Rafa winning yet another French Open.
That has changed of late, though it is still quite clearly anything but impossible. She goes in as joint-favourite with bookmakers for Wimbledon and New York generally. If not, she isn’t too far behind in the betting. We have been close. Very, very close in fact. Tantalisingly close would be the official line. We can’t quite get to number 24 at the moment though. Kerber, Osaka, Halep and Andreescu have all ended that hope in the final over the last few years. Having Wimbledon off the 2020 calendar immediately meant we were going to be denied probably our best opportunity this year. Azarenka was superb in New York and that took our next best chance out of the frame. With it came the wait to break Court’s record for another year.
I am definitely one of those people that let things chip away at them over time. The desperation of wanting to put two fingers up to Margaret Court is one of the latest. We know that around half of Court’s Slams are a bit like winning ITF W25 Perth, wink wink. On that basis, Serena and Graf are both well above her but the records books don’t officially agree.
People always talk about the ‘irony’ of things and ‘fate’. If that’s the case Rena would surpass Court’s total in Melbourne. Things sadly don’t always work out like that though. In truth, none of us would care how or where she gets to that mark, as long as she does.
The real irony of chasing the racist bigot that is Maggie Court is that the player chasing her has been fighting for equality in these exact types of issues. Though we will be gutted if Rena doesn’t at very least draw level with Court we must remember it just a number at the end of the day. We must also all remember that wanting something so badly usually holds us back. That applies to all of us at Rena’s Army and Rena herself in this instance. At the end of the day, I’d back Serena playing with a teaspoon if both players could have played in their pomp. So let’s just all relax and see what 2021 brings us. Remember its just a number, we know who the GOAT really is!
Andy Del Potro.