Local tennis organization reacts to end of Serena Williams’ career

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — Serena Williams’ legendary tennis career likely came to an end after losing her final match at the 2022 US Open on Friday. Her legacy will live on, with many calling her the greatest female tennis player of all time.

She dominated the sport winning 39 Grand Slam titles, 23 singles titles, 14 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. The Richmond Tennis Association says her persistence throughout her 27-year professional career has become an inspiration to young players.

Shima and Joe Grover have been playing tennis for years and are affiliated with the Richmond Tennis Association. When working with young tennis players, the Grovers encourage their players to look like Serena.

“She’s often called GOAT, the greatest of all time, I know some people wonder why she’s called GOAT and she certainly deserved that title,” Shima Grover said.

According to the Grovers, it’s not just Serena’s impeccable record on the courts that sets her apart. It is also the diversity and courage she brought to the sport that leaves a lasting legacy.

“Serena has certainly inspired many other players of color to come in and enjoy tennis for many years and some of them are lucky enough to become professional tennis players,” Shima said.

Through their own tennis journey, they have a special memory of Serena. There was a time when the couple could meet her at a Federation Cup championship when the United States were playing against Belgium.

“We met her there and she was kind enough to pose with a flat Stanley for a member of our board. We took a picture of her holding a flat Stanley. She was very nice,” said explained Joe.

As Serena winds down her career, it’s only the beginning of her legacy for generations to come. That’s exactly what the Grovers want players to take away from his long and successful career.

“We just want Serena’s example to teach young people that if you dream and work hard to achieve your dream, anything is possible,” Shima said.

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