Expect more Major titles from Serena
Our columnist tells DAVID LEE that Serena will eclipse Court's all-time Grand Slam singles mark
After a stunning semi-final exit at last year's US Open and two painful final defeats at the Australian Open and the French Open, Serena Williams is back to winning ways at the Grand Slams.
It is common knowledge now that the WTA world No. 1 has drawn level with Steffi Graf on 22 Grand Slam singles wins after her imperious triumph at Wimbledon.
The question on everyone's lips is whether she will overtake Graf's Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles and go on and eclipse Margaret Court's all-time singles mark of 24.
I believe Serena has more Major titles in her and has the ability to overtake Graf and Court.
Over the last couple of years, there has been consistent chatter over whether she is the greatest player in the history of women's tennis, as she mowed down record after record and chalked up win after win.
If the 35-year-old stays injury-free and wins more Grand Slam titles, that will be her best answer to the doubters.
What is amazing about Serena is that she has so many weapons in her arsenal - that big serve, her mental strength and her heart.
This is an all-powerful combination and is the biggest reason why she is a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion who has stayed at the top for so long.
That serve is a game-changer.
Many former players and commentators have expressed their admiration and describe it is as the greatest weapon in tennis.
I would say she has got the best serve in the women's game, with the right blend of power, placement and disguise.
It's been said that the serve is the most important stroke in tennis and it's true in many ways.
When you have a strong serve, it allows you to set up the point play the way you want it to be.
We saw Serena do just that at Wimbledon. In the final against Angelique Kerber, she fired 13 aces to the German's none, and won 88 per cent of points on her first serve compared to just 59 per cent by the Australian Open champion.
Serena was doing it on the big points and even when there were break points against her.
As she's been doing all these years.
Even if she is down 30-40 or 15-40, she has shown an uncanny ability to escape a desperate situation with her serve.
The key to a good serve is really about the toss, which I believe coaches and players focus on a lot.
If your toss is off, your serve is off.
Working with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena has definitely worked and improved a lot on her tosses and serves.
It's as if she has an "egg in her hand and then places it on a shelf", as Rick Macci, Serena's technique coach in Florida, has been quoted as saying.
I'm no expert on the various intricacies of the serve but, when Serena is so consistent with her toss, she is able to add disguise and make it very difficult for opponents to determine if she is sending the ball down the T or serving wide.
She has that ability to turn her shoulders but keep the same toss, and also doesn't open up her body too soon. Which means Serena can pretty much serve anywhere she wants.
While that spells troubles for most players, she is by no means invincible.
We all know Kerber beat her in this year's Australian Open final, followed by Garbine Muguruza's maiden win in the French Open final.
Kerber owns exceptional groundstrokes and covers the court well, which means she is able to retrieve and return efficiently. Muguruza is young and has a good build, as well as a strong serve.
They demonstrate the strength of women's tennis, but what continues to set Serena apart is that tri-factor - big serve, mental strength and that heart that simply fights.
When all these come together with the rest of her game - consistent groundstrokes and quick movement, Serena wins.
It is why she has amassed a boatload of Major trophies.
It is why I believe she has the ability to overtake Margaret Court's historic mark of 24 Grand Slam wins.
And it is why she has staked the claim of the Greatest of All Time.
- Canadian Melissa Pine is a former NCAA player and a columnist for The New Paper. She is the vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and also the tournament director of the WTA Finals. Held in Singapore from 2014 to 2018, the 10-day tennis extravaganza showcases the world's top-eight singles players and doubles teams competing for a grand prize of US$7 million ($9.6m). For more information on the event, visit www.wtafinals.com
"It is the most beautiful serve ever."
- Tennis great Billie Jean King
"You really are guessing. Like in baseball when the pitcher doesn’t give anything away, neither does Serena."
- Former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport