Mats Wilander has acknowledged the greatness of Serena Williams as she says it will be a "sad day" when she plays the final match of her career. Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, will be saying goodbye to tennis at this year's US Open.
Williams has left a major mark in tennis and Wilander credits her for "transcending the sport and taking tennis into living rooms." “Serena Williams saying farewell to professional tennis is going to be a sad day, she has meant so much for the sport of tennis.
Not just on the women’s side, but the men’s side as well,” Wilander told Eurosport. “She has transcended the sport and taken tennis into living rooms and TVs that normally would not watch tennis. Serena Williams is considered the greatest female tennis player of all time, maybe the greatest player male or female."
Wilander: Williams was pure greatness but also showed a human side
One of Williams' big goals was to win tie or beat Margaret Court's all-time record of 23 Grand Slams. At the 2017 Australian Open, Williams lifted her 23rd Grand Slam title.
After the 2017 Australian Open, Williams made four more Grand Slams and each time ended on the losing side. "I remember the heartbreak of her having 23 Grand Slam titles and making a couple of finals and not being able to get that elusive 24th.
I also remember when she lost to Roberta Vinci at the US Open [in the semi-finals], when she had a chance to win the Calendar Grand Slam a few years back [in 2015]. Serena has shown she is one of the greatest athletes of all time in any sport, but she’s also shown that she’s human, and that’s where our passion and admiration for Serena Williams, it really doesn’t end anywhere," Wilander added.
In her piece for Vogue, Williams admitted that she is aware that some fans will be hoping she wins the US Open and ends her career on a magical way.