How Serena Williams’ former coach brought Simona Halep back from the brink of tennis retirement to go on a historic French Open career path to become No. 2 in the world
There is a legend that says that you can’t get to the end of the rainbow without stepping one foot on the wrong side of the bridge.
It’s a truism that often inspires the best in us. It means it is an achievement worth working towards.
And it’s one that can be applied to the extraordinary journey of Serena Williams.
The former U.S. Open champion is now ranked No. 2 in the world after defeating Simona Halep in the third round of the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Thursday, a run of form which has left her at No. 3 in the world.
It’s a stunning rise for the 26-year-old who had been ranked No. 1 when she left her home on the American West Coast for a life in a tennis academy in Florida in 2005.
She then became the first American player to win more than $1 billion in prize money before going on a career path which included representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London, where she came up just one win short of winning a gold medal. And this year she also reached No. 1 in the world in the WTA rankings.
It was a remarkable journey which saw her beat Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani and Marion Bartoli in the Grand Slams including winning a record 11 Grand Slam titles.
A month later Williams was banned from tennis for two years, a suspension which is set to end next year after she has reached her 25th birthday, the age which she reached her first grand slam final.
It was also the year that Williams made history by becoming the first woman to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament in 12 years.
But, after a