Serena Williams has had quite a summer, winning an Olympic gold medal, Wimbledon, and Sunday, her fourth U.S. Open, by defeating Victoria Azarenka in three dramatic sets. 

Serena has now won 15 major championships, which moves her into sixth on the all-time major’s list, and renews the conversation about her place in tennis history.

At 30 years of age, which is very old for a tennis player, she is once again playing far and away the best tennis in the world – for now.  I say that with the utmost respect for Serena’s ability, but with a clear understanding that her career, as great as it has been, is loaded with ups and downs.

I wonder as I have many times before, if Serena’s excellent year portends a rapid performance drop off, an inexplicable weight gain, or another trip into the world of fashion design.

Obviously Serena can do anything she wants.  It’s her life and her career.  Her breaks from play while disappointing have actually seemed to have slowed any descent into tennis burnout, probably extending her career rather than hurting it.

Yes, this tennis wonder woman is an enigma to me and many of her fans because of her reluctance to play as much as we’d like or to our expectations.

But by doing things her way, Serena Williams probably makes a more powerful statement for her career and legacy.

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