SHE-LOGY: Another very interesting post from guest blogger, A Momma’s View, for today’s spotlight on women in sports. I love how personal she relayed the stories and what we can learn from these three women.
I think it is time that we mention three special ladies from the sports world, three amazing athletes and great tennis players. I thought long and hard about which ones to choose but decided on those three. Why? I will explain it right away.
I decided to pic Steffi not only for her amazing achievements but also for her struggles with her dad. For a long time Steffi Graf was the youngest player to win Wimbledon. But not only that. She won an amazing number of 22 Grand Slam tournaments and in 1988 became what I believe is still the only player (male and female) to win the Calender Year Golden Slam, which means that she not only won all four Grand Slam tournaments that year but an Olympic Gold medal as well. This tennis player achieved so many amazing results that she still remains the greatest female tennis players to many. Her private life got a little bit shaken up when her father who used to be in charge of the business side got accused of tax evasions which led to a fall out between the two of them. She is now happily married to André Agassi and the couple has two children.
I believe that Steffi Graf is an amazingly inspiring woman and the fact that she remained very down to earth although being successful at such a young age speaks for her beautiful character.
Some of you might wonder why I chose Martina Hingis. But there is a reason to the madness. Martina Hingis always was this amazing talent. From a very young age on people had their eyes on her. Her game was always smart and clever and that was the reason why she succeeded on the big stage over a long period of time. Hingis and Graf played a couple of matches against each other, when Steffi was already considered ‘old’ but the one match which probably every tennis fan remembers was in the final of the French Open in 1999. Many considered the reaction of Martina Hingis arrogant and rude. But keep in mind how young this girl still was and how much pressure was on her shoulders. The problem is that you are in the spotlight at such a young age. Something we will probably never experience. So the pressure will eventually get to you and that is what happened to Martina Hingis in this Final. The French Open still remain the only Grand Slam the Swiss player could never win. And in 1999 she was so very close.
Years later after many great wins Martina Hingis decided to retire and finally start enjoying a ‘normal’ life. She focused on her horses and on hiking and all the things that seem so normal for us. But only a short time after she decided to return to the tennis circuit and did this in an amazing manner. She challenged the ‘new’ players although the game had changed. In her own words: It got so much more powerful. And the women’s tennis had to change. Where you could survive in the top heights before by being only relatively fit, it now needed you to put much more hard work into your training than before. Her first comeback was only of a short time as she got tested positive for a substance which is considered illegal, although she still swears that she did not take it knowingly. Today the Swiss player is back again, playing doubles. And it is still a pleasure watching her play tennis…
Martina Hingis is inspiring for me because she kept going. She kept going when everything and everyone was against her. She kept believing in herself and in her chance to come back and tell her story. She never gave up on what she loves best to do.
Who doesn’t know Serena Williams? Who hasn’t heard of the Williams sisters? I think they changed the women’s tennis massively. And I am not alone. When they arrived on the tour the women’s tennis got more powerful. The ladies had to hit the gym suddenly, build muscles and power instead of just relaying on their technique. The game got more powerful and faster. She is currently the number one in women’s tennis. Her record of 34 Grand Slam titles puts her seventh on the all-time list: 19 in singles, 13 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (2002–03 and also in 2009 -10), and the fifth woman ever to do so! What an amazing achievement! And at this stage only Steffi Graf has won more Grand Slam Titles than Serena Williams (in the Open Era). Her palmares goes on and on and there are so many wins.. one thing though should be highlighted as well: Serena won four Olympic Gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles.
Serena Williams has an amazing presence on the court and the way she can refocus and get back on track after falling behind is truly inspiring. She is now one of the richest women in the world but that was not always the case. Serena Williams had a rough start and life was not easy for her and her family. But she kept fighting, she kept working hard and she never stopped believing in herself. And she did it!
I have mentioned before that life and tennis have a lot in common for me. And this is the reason why I picked those three tennis players for SHE-LOGY. Everyone is unique and for each and every one of us inspiration can mean a different thing. What STEFFI MARTINA and SERENA all have in common is that they performed on a big stage and under a lot of pressure from a very young age onwards. Life on tour is not easy and you not only need the right people around you but you also need the right attitude. Those three women have one thing in common: They fought. They kept working hard. They never gave up. And they succeeded.
SHE-LOGY is a blog project open to everyone who is interested to celebrate women this whole month of March. If you’re reading this, I extend that invitation to you to contribute post/s about the women you’d like to honor. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this.