Serena Williams held a master class at the Arthur Ashe stadium on Monday night during the first round of the US Open. Just kidding. She simply defeated Maria Sharapova within the time constraints of a standard college lecture. 59 minutes to be exact.
“Every time I come up against her,’’ Williams said, “I just bring out some of my best tennis.’’
This match marked Williams’ 19th consecutive win against Sharapova.
This event was hyped up to be some sort of rivalry, so many tuned in to watch. However, when an opponent beats you 19 consecutive times…is it really a rivalry?
When asked about the ‘rivalry’ narrative Williams responded, “I don’t know what the meaning of ‘rivalry’ is. I feel everyone I play is a rival. Whether I’m 20-2 or 0-1, it’s always interesting.”
This is clearly not a rivalry but Williams gave a gracious response nonetheless. Words whose sentiment can only be interpreted through the words of the late great Aretha Franklin, this ‘rivaly’ is “…beautiful gowns.”
Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian sported a classic D.A.R.E. shirt underneath his jacket as a seemingly pointed yet gentle reminder to Sharapova that he hasn’t forgotten about her testing positive to a banned substance in 2016.
Williams’ older sister and tennis legend in her own right Venus Williams also dominated on day one beating Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-0 in 67 minutes. Not only do these Williams sisters dominate, they do it in a timely fashion.
In conclusion, it’s not a rivalry…it’s a lesson.