Female Tennis Players

Tennis super stars Serena and Venus Williams played each other in the finals of Wimbledon....a wonderful, fast paced tennis match. Venus won, but not easily. I feel so happy for them...they have been struggling lately and really needed this boost.

The Williams sisters are outstanding tennis players and will continue to win many tournaments, but they, like all of us, are getting older and the wins are not as easy as before. The players are so much younger, faster and stronger than they were when the sisters dominated the courts. Both girls are in their late 20's and are facing players in their teens.

Tennis has changed over the years....training, and training preparation has created a 'super woman' on the court. I think back to Chris Evert and Billy Jean King or even further to Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong. They were wonderful tennis players but could they compete with today's women? I don't think they could.

Venus and Serena are begining to enjoy life....designing, going to college, acting and creating a more normal life for themselves. Maybe we tend to forget that these are women....they have lives outside of tennis.

When Venus walked on the court to play in Melbourne, Australia her face was grim. Where was the smile that showed how much she loved being there? It was there when she started playing professionally at age 14...a beautiful smile that lit up the court. All we can do is hope that the spark will come back.

We, as amateur tennis players really don't understand the professional tennis world. Some years ago I saw a commercial for Lipton Tea featuring Chris Evert. She was walking off a tennis court, sat down and had a glass of Lipton iced tea. "When I finish WORK, I enjoy a glass of iced tea"....get the word...WORK!

Tennis is a JOB to a professional player...sure it's enjoyable, but lets fact it, this is how they make their living.

Years ago when I played tennis nearly every day, there would come a point when I'd wake up in the morning, hoping that it was raining so I wouldn't have to play. And there would be days when I'd absolutely hate having to be on the court with a certain player...maybe she was not a fun person to be around, maybe I wasn't comfortable with her constant criticism of the other players (her partners included) or maybe she was too wild and hit so hard that the chances of being hit with the ball on her serve was a real possibility.

But in a tournament or league, not showing up because you don't like the opponent is not an option. Same goes for professional tennis...you play unless you are bedridden or hurt.....not being "in the mood to play" doesn't matter.

On a happier note, when my daughter Christine was 18, she and I played in the Prudential Family Challenge Tennis Tournament. We were in the Mother/Daughter Division, and after winning qualifying tournaments in Omaha and Kansas City, we represented the Midwest in the Finals held during the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

One of the things I fondly remember (yeah, I know it's silly) was that in the locker room where we (and the pros) dressed was a sign-up sheet for the laundry facilities...washer and dryer.

Chris Evert was doing her laundry at 7am, Martina would be doing her at 10am and Hana Manlikova at 12 o'clock noon.
Life goes on and dirty socks still need washing!

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