By Shawn Buck (@buck4peace)
Oftentimes an athletes’ greatness isn’t fully appreciated until after they have retired. Looking back and realizing what they accomplished, we see what we missed out on. Serena Williams falls in this category. With UFC 200 and the buzz of the Kevin Durants’ decision to join the Golden State Warriors, Williams’ win on Saturday was taken for granted to some degree.
Williams at 34 years old, captured her eighth Wimbledon singles championship and 22nd Grand Slam singles title. She is two major titles away from tying the record for most single women’s championships. At an age where most tennis players start to decline she has consistently won. When she loses, it’s more news than when she wins. Her body shape and her show of emotions has often been criticized but her greatness on the tennis court can’t be denied.
Grand Slam tournaments, also known as majors, are the four most important yearly tennis events. These tournaments are where the best in world compete and are good measuring sticks of showing how good a tennis player is. They consist of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Serena Williams has won six Australian, three French, six US Open and seven Wimbledon singles titles. She also has 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, most recently in Wimbledon this year, playing with her sister Venus Williams. Serena has won two mixed doubles Grand Slams as well.
Serena Williams has had a remarkable career. She deserves to be mentioned in the conversation as one of the greatest athletes ever, male or female. Chris Evert, another tennis great, was asked if Serena is the greatest female tennis player ever and she said yes. Who are we to argue? We should appreciate Serena and her game before her run is over.
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By Amir Wali Hamzah
Part of me wondered if I would ever be able to say that as a Cleveland sports fan. In every dream I’ve had about winning a championship I’ve pictured myself as an old man. I figured I would get a hoverboard and flying cars before Cleveland won a championship. But, here we are. Champions.
I know the disappointment of being a fan in my city. I was just old enough to start getting into sports when “the Shot” happened. My heart was broken when in 1995 when “the Move” was announced. Made worse by the fact that the Ravens won a Super Bowl just a few years later. 1997 the Indians lost to a pretty much expansion team in the World Series. The Browns came back and had more foibles than I can count or even want to get into. And then we had “the Decision” having LeBron James, the pride of Cleveland, leave to go to greener pastures to chase championships. And then win them. In that same year, the Indians had a damn good season and went on to go up 3-1 in the ALCS and fall apart and lose 3 straight. That’s the closest Cleveland has been to winning a championship since these finals for the Cavs. (Yes, I’m well aware we made the Finals last year, but everyone knew we weren’t winning without Irving and Love).
We’ve had a crazy season in Cleveland. If you are a Cleveland fan, you know what it is like to hear bad things about your team ALL OF THE TIME. We are more critical than anyone else about us. We heard Wiggins of Love trade was terrible. We heard Love and LeBron don’t get along. We heard we had no chemistry. We heard LeBron the GM. We heard he ran David Blatt out-of-town. I have had that sick feeling in my stomach all season that we might fall apart. But I never stopped believing. I wavered when we went down 3-1 against the Warriors. What Cleveland fan didn’t? You can’t live the life of a Cleveland sports fan and not have any doubts. That said, I stuck with my pick. Cavs in 7. Lord knows I did not expect it to be the most difficult way possible, but this is Cleveland we are talking about. At the end of the day we pulled it off.
You may not understand the feeling we have about this if you aren’t from Cleveland. You probably don’t completely get why I was crying like LeBron was about a game I don’t play in a city I don’t even live in anymore. I know you get it Cleveland. I know you understand that no matter how far we go and no matter where we end up, you are still a part of us. Cleveland needed this. We needed this. This certainly doesn’t erase all of the disappointment many us have spent years dealing with, but it is a start.
Today we cry about Cleveland sports, but not because we’ve lost in a most painful and agonizing way. Not because one of our sons or daughters has left our city. Not because we watched a 30 for 30 that brought back all of the painful memories. We cry because WE ARE CHAMPIONS!