Serena Williams hints she may not be done with tennis yet

Don't drag Tom Brady, we beg you!

Don’t drag Tom Brady, we beg you!
picture: Getty Images

We can never say goodbye again.

We’re not even a week away from the US Open, or two weeks from what was quite a signature final game for Serena Williams. Oh sure, it was the third round, and we don’t identify Serena with third rounds. That’s sort of the point we’re going to come back to. But she beat the world No. 2 en route in no fewer than three sets and went out in three sets. Serena gave everything she had and it wasn’t enough and that’s a beautiful ending to a legend. Not everyone gets the Sampras, but Sampras was in his early 30s. Eventually even the biggest champion just didn’t have enough in the tank. Given all the injuries Serena has been through, that was hardly a surprise.

Tears flowed, there was thunderous cheering and there was maximum respect. She didn’t go on the coaching table, but on her shield. Maybe not perfect, but certainly more than acceptable.

Well, Serena already is make noise That tonight won’t be And here’s the quote that kind of makes your stomach gurgle.

“I mean, you never know,” Williams said when asked if she could be persuaded to return to tennis. “I was just saying that I think Tom Brady started a really cool trend.”

No, just no. Tom Brady has never started a cool trend. Brady has followed every trend that’s passed his empty noodle in hopes of staying relevant to any advertiser with even the slightest urge to toss him millions. He’s not up to date. He’s actually the bat-signal for anything over the top, stale, and terrible. He’s your dad wearing a FUBU jacket (a scenario I actually lived through). When Tom Brady does it, you know it’s over.

And it’s also the desperate lifting of an attention junkie. Brady hasn’t even really retired. He didn’t miss anything. And we now know he tried to use his retirement to move to Miami. It wasn’t really about beating the game. But it was also a way for Brady to soak up the praise, have thousands of articles written about what a legend he was, do all the performances, and then keep dancing because he soon realized all of those accolades would soon be gone would . He would be in the background. He couldn’t take it.

But he’s not the first. Remember Brett Favre’s diva act that he pulled for years, trying to straddle the fence as long as he could so Packers fans, the media, and the NFL world as a whole would beckon him to come back until his shitkicker pecker was just tumescent enough? That went on until the Packers finally came to the conclusion that having their dreams of another Super Bowl end on yet another season-killing INT from Favre had gotten old and they were going to pivot to the guy who was better anyway. Then Favre pulled the same bullshit on the Jets, after leading them to squarely nothing, so he could play for the Vikings, whom he then kneecapped twice in the playoffs with unconscionable picks. Like everything with Brady the person, nothing of it is original.

We know it must be hard to let go. And Serena’s sister is still out there. But Venus is a different person, and though an all-time great in her own right, Venus’ Right to exist have been “in” for a long time. But that’s not Serena’s. Serena is there to win, to dominate. And that’s gone now. While the top of the WTA Tour always seems to be in flux (although Iga Swiatek seems to have a stranglehold now), the game has moved on. Maybe Serena can make another major, but we’ve been saying that for a while. And it’s not going to get any easier in her 40s.

The thing about Serena, achievements aside, was that it always felt like she didn’t give a shit what anyone thought. Remember after the first game of each set all the other players rush back to their chairs and get some water? And Serena would just go around the other side of the net to the other side of the court? Ultimate IDGAF move. Whether Serena wanted to take some time to focus on fashion or acting? She will, she doesn’t care what you think. Players bitching about some of their escapades? Fuck it all. The crowd against them for years? Fuck it, she’s gonna win anyway. Giving up Indian Wells for a decade because they disgustingly boo her and her sister? What Serena wants (and don’t think the crowd was on her side until recently).

Coming back now, or indeed ever, would feel like Serena couldn’t live without the admiration. A flattery she hadn’t had for a long time and made her realize she didn’t need it. She has things on her plate. She’s busy.

It’s not that, Serena. Never follow Tom Brady.

shooting star

Let’s end with another woman who is kicking her sport’s ass until it’s purple and that’s Mallory Pugh of the Chicago Red Stars. Not only is Pugh the whole sun of the Red Stars or just one of the best players in the NWSL, but she’s now a major player in the USWNT. There is perhaps no more fearsome player on the break these days than Pugh, as the Kansas City Current found all too vehemently on Wednesday night:

That’s about 90 total yards that Pugh rushed through with a vengeance without a KC player coming within phaser distance of her, and the first one included two nutmegs just to be cheeky. Pugh is gearing up for next summer’s World Championships, and she could easily be the USWNT’s top player.

Coming out onto the open field, the feeling is like Bruce Banner stubbing a toe.

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