In this look back at tennis history, let's wind it back to 1997 – and the occasion of Serena Williams' first-ever match in a major tournament. Consider this splendid 21-shot rally in the first round of US Open women's doubles:
#USOpen Throwback (1997): Serena's first Grand Slam match! ????— USTA (@usta) April 23, 2018
Even at age 15, it was clear she was born for the spotlight.
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????: @serenawilliams / @Venuseswilliams vs. Rinaldi / Hetherington pic.twitter.com/pzAGnLj6SS
Now consider further: One of her two opponents on that day was Kathy Rinaldi, who is now, at age 51, the U.S. Fed Cup team's captain. That's just mind-boggling, and another stark reminder of the Serena's staying power in the sport.
Asked Serena about 1st US Open memories: "Walking by Kathy Rinaldi yesterday, pretty sure [Venus & I] played her in dubs & we lost"— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) August 24, 2013
By the by, despite grabbing the glory in that lengthy point – chock-full of groundstroke and volley prowess – the team of Rinaldi and partner Jill Hetherington actually defeated the Williams sisters by a 6-4, 7-5 score. Still, who knew what dreams would come?
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