At Roland Garros, Serena Williams goes to the fourth round
Success among older athletes is all the rage with Phil Mickelson winning the PGA Championship last month at age 50, Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl in February at age 43 and Sue Bird winning a WNBA title last year at age 39. .
There is clearly a pattern effect going on. Venus, who turns 41 on June 17, is fading but is still on tour, playing with duct tape and her own daily pain, while still hitting winners in front of women half her age.
Roger Federer, who turns 40 in August, remains in contention at this French Open after being fast again on Thursday by beating longtime rival Marin Cilic in four sets on the same red clay plate where Williams beat Collins in the cooler. , heavier conditions.
Seven Americans played third round singles matches on Thursday, including four men: John Isner, Steve Johnson, Reilly Opelka and Marcos Giron. Williams was the only American to win, and I then asked Collins, 27, if seeing Williams and other icons succeed in her late 30s and beyond made her see her own future differently. .
“I think it should give a lot of different athletes confidence, especially young athletes, not to put so much pressure on themselves,” Collins said. “You see some of the greatest athletes in the world having some of their best success once they’re a little older. I think it goes to the maturity, to the experience that they have at that time. It shows how sport is a mental game, more than just a physical game. It should give players confidence to see someone like Serena, Tom Brady or Phil Mickelson.
Of course, Williams, Federer, Brady and Mickelson were all young freaks before they became lasting superstars. What made them exceptional initially helped them to remain exceptional, but they also had to adapt: train differently, eat more carefully and, in the case of Williams and Federer, compete more effectively.
“Serena had to make adjustments, just like Roger, to stay a factor in the majors,” said Rubin. “Look at Roger, being more aggressive and moving in, taking on that challenge, so I think that kind of adaptability is a requirement.”