Saturday, January 27, 2007

Another day, another Slam ...

There's a joke among churchgoers about those who don't show up regularly.
"Oh, her?" they say. "She's a CME."
It's not a denomination. It means they show up on Christmas, Mothers Day and Easter, the big holidays.
Sound like a recent Grand Slam winner to anyone?
Church, let's greet Sister Serena Williams in the name of the Lord. She's a busy woman,
many careers and such, so sometimes, she can't make it to the weekly services held by
the Women's Tennis Association. But when she shows up, she can shine with the most
faithful members.  
Some members, the Dementievas, the Schnyders, they're always 
there. They know exactly what to do when they're handcuffed by a ball 
at the net, or when they're down a set point, or for that matter, 
up a set point. 
Others, like Sister Williams, may look rusty when they haven't been in those situations
in a long time.
But when she tells herself she probably won't be back on court until the surface turns 
orange and slippery, she'll get 
warmed up, all right. 
Just ask Maria Sharapova, if you want a testimony. Sister Sharapova was something
of a prodigy growing up. She had, and has, loads of talent. Better than any of her
contemporaries, she can hit the high notes in the heat of battle. And for all her hard work,
she recently was promoted to the head of the flock. That was the good news. The bad
news is that when she got to the big stage, the Australian Open final, she got whupped
by a CME tennis player. She got outshouted, outmanuevered and outshone.
All in about an hour's time.
Well, right now, Sharapova's back on the tour, grinding it out with the rest of the regulars.
She's working out the kinks at a tournament in Tokyo. She, of course,
will be back on the big stage, proving why she deserves to be world No. 1. Does she? Eh.
What's Serena doing right now? Maybe a taste of victory will turn her
into a regular on the WTA this year. Maybe she'll show up before the next Grand Slam in May.
Or maybe she'll be kicking up her feet at home in LA, or Florida,
agreeing to be a voice actress for a cartoon. Does she deserve to be
world No. 1? Is Serena, sitting on her couch at home come Sunday morning, of lesser faith, of lesser talent, than the grinders, 
the regular worshipers? 
Might have to wait until Mother's Day to find out.

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