By Arturo R. García
Tuesday afternoon portions of a new Rolling Stone profile of tennis star Serena Williams went online, but one section in particular set off red flags and trigger warnings online.
PARIS — In one of her more revealing moments this tournament, Serena Williams addressed the various personalities that reside deep within her. Since she first infiltrated the Tennisphere in the late 1990s, Serena has been a bundle of contradictions and unpredictability. We call her by her first name, yet she remains mysterious in some ways. Now, 15 years into an astonishing career — filled with all sorts of plot twists and relentless, almost devotional, winning — we have some insight into the driving forces.
There’s Summer. “My assistant who lives inside my body,” Serena said. “She’s really organized and she’s amazing. I love her.”
Then there’s Megan. “I think she was a bad girl. … Haven’t seen her in a long time.”
And there’s Laquanda. “She’s not allowed to come out. She’s on probation. She’s not nasty. She just keeps it real. And you don’t want to cross her.”
The same facets that continue to make Serena a singularly compelling personality also inform her tennis. The casual fans will see she won still another major singles title Saturday afternoon in Paris — we’re up to 16, for those scoring at home — beating a game Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4 in the French Open final. They will assume Serena did what she often does and brought her insurmountable power to bear, turning a tennis match into a physical altercation, playing with peerless intensity.
And they would be right. But they would be missing the multiple personalities of her tennis game.
— “Serena’s personalities, legendary game produce French Renaissance;” On Sunday afternoon Serena Williams defeated Maria Sharapova to win the French Open, her sixteenth singles title. With Wimbledon around the corner, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated takes a look at Serena’s winning strategies and shows that her success goes beyond the physical.
By Guest Contributor Izzie, cross-posted from Muslimah Media Watch
Sania Mirza is a source of pride in India. She is the first Indian woman to:
She has also won the Arjuna Award, which is the highest sports honour in India, and the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India; she was named one of the “50 heroes of Asia” by Time, and named by The Economic Times in the list of “33 women who made India proud.”
She also happens to be a Muslim woman, who according to her father and coach, is a deeply religious girl who prays five times a day, tries hard not to play during the holy month of Ramadan, and reads the Quran every day.
However, to many Indian Muslims, she is a media personality, who doesn’t wear the “proper” attire that a Muslim woman is supposed to be seen in. She dresses like any other tennis sports star, and is popular for her style statements as for her skill with the racket. This resulted in a Maulvi in Midnapore (West Bengal, India) issuing a fatwa on her dress code stating “The dress she wears on the tennis courts … leaves nothing to the imagination.” He also said she should follow the example of Iranian women who wore head scarves and long tunics when they played in badminton tournaments. Islamist groups such as Jamiat-ulema-e-Hind allegedly threatened to disrupt her tennis matches.
Recently another fatwa was also issued against her, for living together with her current husband, before their marriage: the fatwa stated that ”It’s un-Islamic for a man and woman to see each other during the ceremonies before the ‘nikah.’” (Mirza’s husband stayed in her parental home for few weeks prior to their wedding. )
By Guest Contributor Jessica Luther, cross-posted from Speaker’s Corner in the ATX (scATX)
Lots of news outlets are reporting on Caroline Wozniacki stuffing her top and skirt with towels at a match this past weekend against Maria Sharapova. She did this in order to enhance her chest and butt so that she could imitate or impersonate Serena Williams. She did it supposedly as a joke.
In case there is someone out there who has never seen a picture of Serena Williams: