Allen Langton
2 minute read
20 Apr 2021
06:01

Letters | Williams has done much for women’s sport

Allen Langton

The letter by Anet van Reenen, published by The Witness last week, refers. Van Reenen attacks the undisputed greatest female tennis player of all time for being passionate and confident enough to be emotional on the tennis court.

LETTER:


The letter by Anet van Reenen, published by The Witness last week, refers. Van Reenen attacks the undisputed greatest female tennis player of all time for being passionate and confident enough to be emotional on the tennis court.

It actually seems, in the opinion of Van Reenen, that Serena Williams has not earned her place on the tennis courts of the world, has not broken down barriers, making way for women like Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff to aspire to be like Williams, and that she (Williams) should now be a good girl and stay at home raising children.

Aryna Sabalenka is a combination of Williams’ power and Maria Sharapova’s screaming. Sharapova and Williams are extremely successful businesspeople. They have made millions of women realise that anything is possible if you aspire to be excellent and are willing to work for it, even after becoming a mother.

It actually seems, in the opinion of Van Reenen, that Serena Williams has not earned her place on the tennis courts of the world, has not broken down barriers, making way for women like Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff to aspire to be like Williams, and that she (Williams) should now be a good girl and stay at home raising children.
Allen Langton

The very same search for “black excellence”, and the right of women to behave as they see fit, which drove Williams, as well as Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, et al, is what makes Osaka, Barty and Gauff so special.

If we apply the criteria used by Van Reenen to attack Williams then there is no place for, statistically, the best men’s tennis player between 2010 and 2020, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t really care for public opinion, yet he has done more for male professional tennis players than any other player out there. I submit that the WTA would be a shadow of itself if Williams was not who she is.

I doubt that the world of sport wants her to go quietly into the night. Van Reenen should salute a woman who has made a difference on her own terms, instead of trying to tarnish one of the greatest sportswomen of all time.

ALLEN LANGTON

Mkondeni

Red Witness logo
Write to letters@witness.co.za
The editor reserves the right to edit all contributions. All letters must contain the writer’s full name, address and contact number for record purposes or they will not be published. Well written topical letters under 225 words will take precedence. The Witness does not guarantee to publish all letters.