Serena Williams blasted this four letter word -- as if to say "heck, yeah!" -- at Wimbledon at least three times today en route to her rare Super Slam victory with a gold medal at the London Olympics.
Maria Sharapova didn't seem to know what hit her -- by the time she got on the board, it was way too late. C'MON!
I loved learning Williams' trademark fist pump only steps from her place in the field of play. It is unreal to me that from the front two rows at Centre Court I captured the photos posted on this blog. Sharapova is as gorgeous in person as any magazine, (Serena is, too) and it was amazing and unbelievable to see her playing tennis where only weeks ago she won the Wimbledon title.
Viewing Williams' play, it really did seem like watching an Olympic goddess. Her serve is majestic. Her victory dance is entertaining. Though stoic with a hard core game face during match play, once she won Williams never stopped grinning and dancing, having the time of her life.
The Olympic tennis experience included other surprises, like all three women's medalists standing on the same patch of grass from which I grabbed a few blades for a longtime tennis friend back home.
Entering the venue, fellow Oklahomans Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci (married Olympic champions) walked beside me to the seating area (they were across Centre Court from the spot I found along one of the service lines). This was the third time in as many years to speak with Conner and Comaneci.
The most curious moment: During the national anthem, as the U.S. flag went up over the court, the flag flew off its hoist during the line "That our flag was still there" (see video). Williams handled the situation with grace, smiling to the crowd as if to say, "C'MON, it is all good" and "Come on, are you going to play our anthem again and get this right?" all at once (they did not start over, but it was all good).
I am too tired tonight to post about the other tennis feats from Team USA today, but there are/were more medals and a separate post will follow once sleep is achieved. There is also an interesting Olympic exhibit at the Wimbledon Museum about which to post. Today's women's triathlon experience also yielded amazement.
Congratulations, Serena Williams -- Super Slam Champion.
Photos copyright Nicholas Wolaver may not be used without written permission