Serena Williams Serves and Scraps Her Way Into the Fourth Round

Success amongst older athletes is all the rage with Phil Mickelson winning the P.G.A. Championship final month at 50, Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl in February at 43 and Sue Bird winning a W.N.B.A. title final 12 months at 39.

There is clearly a role-modeling impact underway. Venus, who will flip 41 on June 17, is fading however nonetheless on tour, taking part in with tape and day-to-day ache of her personal but still hitting winners past women half her age.

Roger Federer, who will flip 40 in August, stays in rivalry at this French Open after wanting fast off the mark once more on Thursday as he defeated his longtime rival Marin Cilic in 4 units on the similar patch of pink clay the place Williams beat Collins in cooler, heavier circumstances.

Seven Americans performed third-round singles matches on Thursday, together with 4 males: John Isner, Steve Johnson, Reilly Opelka and Marcos Giron. Williams was the solely American to prevail, and I requested the 27-year-old Collins afterward if seeing Williams and different icons succeed late into their 30s and past made her view her personal future in another way.

“I think that should give a lot of different athletes confidence, younger athletes especially, not to put as much pressure on themselves,” Collins stated. “You’re seeing some of the greatest athletes in the world have some of their best success once they’re a little bit older. I think that goes to the maturity, the experience that they have at that point. It just shows how much of sports is a mental game, more so than just a physical game. It should give players confidence to see somebody like Serena or Tom Brady or Phil Mickelson.”

Of course, Williams, Federer, Brady and Mickelson have been all younger phenoms earlier than they turned enduring superstars. What made them distinctive initially has helped hold them distinctive, however they’ve additionally needed to adapt: coaching in another way, consuming extra rigorously and, in the circumstances of Williams and Federer, competing extra effectively.

“Serena has had to make adjustments, just like Roger, to remain a factor at the majors,” Rubin stated. “Look at Roger, being more aggressive and moving in, taking on that challenge, so I think that kind of adaptability is a requirement.”

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