One one hand, some sports pundits decry the fact that Serena Williams is a vastly underappreciated megastar, undervalued as the undisputed queen of an era, particularly by Madison Avenue, which seems to covet the inferior Maria Sharapova more, despite the fact Serena has been mowing down her adversaries like blades of grass under a lawn mower — most especially Sharapova, in an unimpeded march towards the history books.
But when you peer at Twitter and inventory the crème de la crème of American athletes and celebrities — the sheer number of them — who marvel and heap lavish praise on the tennis legend, you understand that at least in a few quadrants of American society, Serena is viewed as she should be: bonafide sports royalty and one of the greatest female athletes we’ve ever seen.
Evidence of Serena’s enduring star power was exemplified during her match with her elder sister and barrier-breaker Venus Williams during the U.S. Open that, if she were to take the crown, would make Serena the first to win the single-season Grand Slam for the first time in almost 30 years (reclusive legend Steffi Graf was the last to do it in 1988).
It was quite remarkable and, I admit, refreshing to see the number of elite athletes and TV personalities all stop what they were doing in their lives around the country and collectively detail their thoughts leading up to, during and after the Williams sisters match. No less than Oprah Winfrey and presidential candidate Donald Trump stopped into Arthur Ashe Stadium in the Flushing section of Queens, N.Y. to check out the match.
Take a look at the number of stars who watched and paid tribute to the Williams sisters, most particularly Serena.