This is good. Serena Williams’ new commercial for Wilson is funny. In fact, I like all these commercials, where Roger Federer or Venus Williams or Serena drags a couch out onto the court and serves as a psychologist for some hacker.
In this case, Serena pokes fun at herself for her threatening f-bomb-laced tirade at a line judge at the 2009 U.S. Open. It has been nearly two years, and you’d think her most embarrassing moment would be gone now, especially after all that has happened with her.
But it’s not gone. When she goes back to the Open in a few weeks, it will be her first time there since her tantrum. That’s going to be a story. That is going to be closure.
Serena Williams was always going to win another tournament. That was inevitable. So the news this weekend, when she won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, wasn’t that she had won for the first time since Wimbledon in 2010. It was seen as a finish line to her comeback from a year off with illness (blood clots in her lungs) and injury (foot surgery). But it was much more important than that.
It was the starting line.
This tournament was evidence that Williams really did feel some vulnerability, did feel a lack of invincibility.
“I was really disappointed at Wimbledon,’’ she said on ESPN after crushing Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. “I put a lot of pressure on myself. That’s a big tournament for me. I decided it’s time to get serious, not only at the slams, but at every other tournament as well.’’
Greg Couch is an award-winning sports columnist based in Chicago. He covers college football for BleacherReport.com, NFL for RollingStone.com and freelances at several other places, including The New York Times. Lots of tennis, mostly here. He has traveled the world covering tennis and is a member of the International Tennis Writers Association. A former sports columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, his tennis writing has been in the book "The Best American Sportswriting."