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SPORTSSPACE 2
Shivika shows off two weapons from Serena’s armoury — serve and a big forehand — at Calcutta South Club on Monday. Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray

I think Serena Williams is the greatest woman champ of all time. Ever since I started playing, I have been looking up to her. I never got a chance to see Steffi Graf or Billie Jean King in action. So, right now, it is definitely Serena.

For the past 17 years she has been on the circuit and she has been doing well consistently. Even after injuries, when she comes back, she wins matches easily and even if she is losing, it is always a tough match. Otherwise she is beating all the girls easily. After a life-threatening injury when she crashed out of the top 100, she came back and won the US Open, Wimbledon and an Olympic gold!

Tennis lovers will always remember her for her aggression. What youngsters can learn from her is that even when you are down and out, you can always come back.

What comes to mind when I think Serena Williams? Power, power, just power! I have always wanted a game like hers, but my build is not like hers. I wish I had her serve and fitness.

It is fun watching her. She is so aggressive on court. And she has tremendous will power. That’s admirable. She is always so confident about herself and her game.

Serena’s serve… just the power and the accuracy. If you have a big serve, it puts pressure on the opponent. When she is under pressure, she comes up with a big serve. She serves like a man.

She has very powerful groundstrokes. The forehand is one of her weapons. If you have a good forehand, you open up the court. After a big serve, that’s all she needs… one good forehand and the point is hers.

Drive volleys are also her trademark. She is very aggressive and doesn’t like to stay back and keep rallying. It is easier for her to finish off points.

She hates losing. She is mentally so strong.

I have seen her in person, at the US Open, and when you stand next to her, you tend to get scared. She is so strong! Those arms! You feel like a Lilliput. She looks more like a boxer than a tennis player!