Please don't take the Venus-Serena Wimbledon final for granted

Chris Chase
July 2, 2009

Yawn. Another Wimbledon final, another matchup between the Williams sisters. It's the fourth such meeting this decade and the eighth in any Grand Slam final. Since this is almost routine at this point, the circumstances of a Venus-Serena final don't seem all that special. They are. The fact the two sisters are playing in the final at Wimbledon for the fourth time in seven years is one of the most remarkable feats in sports history.

As much as we love to play instant historian these days (that game was the best of all-time, that's the best team ever, etc.), we often fail to properly appreciate sustained greatness in its own time. Everyone knows Tiger Woods is one of the two greatest golfers ever, but if he and Jack Nicklaus swapped eras, I think we'd hold Woods in an even higher regard than we do now. Barry Bonds had the best season ever at the plate in 2002, yet that didn't get 1/100th of the attention that his steroid scandal did five years later. There's something about the passage of time that makes things seem more special. As a result, the true greatness that happens now is often overlooked.

This brings us back to the Williams sisters. We know they're great, but somehow the scope of what they're collectively doing is viewed as ordinary. We expect them to get to the Wimbledon finals, so we're not surprised when they do.

But take a step back and think of it like this: Of all the women playing tennis on this planet, the two who will set foot on Centre Court on Saturday morning grew up in the same house. Let that sink in. It's utterly remarkable. (And we're not even getting into the fact that said house was in Compton, CA, not exactly a tennis hotbed.)

For two sisters to dominate the tennis world and to have more appearances in the Wimbledon final since 2001 (12) than the rest of the world combined (6) is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. We all know it's special, but it's even moreso than that. It's one of the greatest achievements in tennis history.