This was expected as the sun rising and falling. Serena Williams is your 2013 French Open Champion, but the context of her win extends beyond a single championship or one tournament. 31 years old is usually closing time for tennis careers. Williams is just a few weeks younger than, Roger Federer, one of the all-time greats and the men’s most prolific Grand Slams champion of all-time. However, he’s in the twilight of his career, hasn’t won a single tournament this year and has probably won his last major. Father Time was the first opponent to overmatch his court skills, but black don’t crack. Williams is smacking Father Time upside the head with her Wilson racket.
"Eleven years ago, I didn't think I'd still be playing, never past 28, but heck I'm still here." Williams gleefully told Mary Carillo after her win.
Perhaps it’s a testament to the lack of parity on the women’s side, but Williams may be the most dominant and iconic athlete in all of sports since Jordan retired. That includes LeBron James, Federer, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Jimmie Johnson or Tom Brady.
The last decade in the NBA has been a tug of war. Brady has Manning and while Woods is more transcendent, he hasn’t won a major in three years.
At this stage in her career, there doesn’t appear anyone on the rise than can return her powerful serve with regularity. It’s not just that Williams is winning. It’s that she’s now further ahead of the field than she has been at any previous point in her career. Williams is on some Tiger Woods in his prime-type beatdowns. Opponents walk onto the court with the same sense of dread pugilists had when pre-Buster Douglas Iron Mike stepped between the ropes.
Since getting dispatched in the first round of last year’s French Open, Williams has gone 74-3 and won 31 consecutive matches. Any hope of her reaching the women’s gold standard of 24 Grand Slams is unlikely. However, she's now just two major wins away from tying Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the women's list.
Maria Sharapova was championed as the Serena-stopper, but that’s never come to fruition. Sharapova is the only active player to have completed a career Grand Slam, but Williams has beaten Sharapova 12 times in a row since her last loss to the Russian nine years ago. The world’s No. 2 player has only won just one set in her last nine meetings against Williams and lost to Williams 6-0, 6-1 in the Olympic final last August.
All the outmatched competition can do is wait for the hourglass sands in Williams’ timeless career to drain. They may be waiting for a while.