Serena Williams admits she cannot defeat any man inside the ATP top 100
By: Khalid A-H Ansari
Serena Williams strides the tennis world like a female Colossus, but she's gracious enough to acknowledge that she couldn't come out trumps over any man in the world tennis top 100.
After her fourth Wimbledon tennis title last Saturday, which she won without dropping a set, the world's No 1 women's tennis player, never one to downplay her awesome speed, fitness and talent, admitted as much modestly, while becoming the sixth-most successful women's player in history.
The Junoesque American's fearsome, juggernaut-like demolition of her opponents on her way to the title has once again ignited debate over equal prize money at tennis's four Grand Slam events.
Observers point out that while 28-year old Serena pocketed a cheque for $1.8 million for eight hours and 11 minutes of effort at the All England Club, men's first-round loser Nicolas Mahut earned a cheque of a mere $20,283.0 despite playing more games and spending longer time on court in one match than the women's world No 1 did in the entire tournament.
Serena Williams celebrates a point against Russia's Vera Zvonareva during the Wimbledon ladies singles final in London on Saturday. PIC/AFp
Legend John McEnroe, known to call a spade a shovel, characteristically stirred the pot, saying before her final against Russia's Vera Zvonareva that Williams wouldn't even beat a player inside the men's top 600.
The younger Williams sister admitted she'd only stand a chance against "someone who is way outside the top 100" on the ATP Tour.
"I honestly think men's and women's tennis are completely opposite," Williams is reported to have said.
"Men are just stronger than ladies. I even have trouble reading my hitting partner and he is not professional, although he would make a good professional player.
It really is comparing apples to oranges."
To some extent, Serena's candid admission could stem from the fact that she and sister Venus, 30, were made to eat their words at the 1998 Australian Open when, as teenagers, they were both thrashed by Germany's world No 203 Karsten Braasch while trying to prove they could take down any man outside the top 200.
Although, after all these years, during which she has won 12 titles, Serena concedes she still couldn't beat any player to make a men's Grand Slam main draw, she is game to have a duel with anyone else.
"First of all, I would have to go into serious training for about two months," Williams said.
"I would have to get seriously fit.
"Then I would have to 'tree' and play seriously well. But I definitely think if anyone is going to hang there, then it would be me or Venus because we have more of a power game and are seriously fast.
"I would have to go to boot camp, though - no sweets, no nothing for about two months.
"Then I think I would have a good chance. A good chance against someone who is way outside the top 100 - not inside.
"Otherwise I think I would have no chance. That's not my thing. My thing is to play women's tennis," Serena added with uncharacteristic modesty.