It is January 2003 and we’re at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Serena Williams is playing Kim Clijsters.
Kim Clijsters is the more established star of the two and takes control of the game in the third set by racing to a 5-1 lead.
Serena holds serve. 5-2.
Kim serves. She has her first matchpoint. Saved.
Then her second matchpoint (advantage following a deuce). At this point, you’re thinking that Serena is done. Kim is enroute to being world number 1 that year and is likely going to take it.
But, Serena saves again.
A few more exchanges later, Serena takes the set.
Kim is still 5-3 up though. You figure that she has another chance to serve and win 6-4.
But, she doesn’t. Instead, she makes two costly double faults that ensure Serena breaks.
And, before you know it, Serena has won the game 7-5.
There have been many great comeback in sports over the years. And, tennis certainly has seen many.
But, you always have a few that stick with you. I vividly recall watching that game in our living room back home blown away at the fight Serena Williams displayed that day.
The memory of that comeback still inspires me. It is a reminder of the fact that being good at something doesn’t mean things get easy.
It never gets easier. You just learn to fight better. And, Serena Williams has certainly done that in her storied career.