Friday, July 13, 2012

Serena's Joy at Tennis Trophy Win

At the start of this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament Serena Williams, a four-time winner of the women's singles title, was quoted as saying 'I love holding up trophies'. And boy did she prove it when, after winning her fifth singles title, she was pictured jumping for joy with the iconic Ladies' Singles Trophy. To be fair, that quote came from a longer answer to press conference speculation about quitting tennis, and in particular was a reply to the question 'what is it that you love about the sport', and it is worth quoting her answer in full as it encapsulates everything about striving, achieving and succeeding. She said: "I love competing. I love the challenge. I love holding up trophies. So I guess if ever I feel that I can’t do that, then maybe I won’t play anymore. That’s what I love. I love stepping out on that court, having that atmosphere, that moment. That moment is all about me. Maybe it’s a little selfish, but I love that feeling." And with such a passion for both the sport and for success, it is fitting that the trophy she received was as prestigious as the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament itself. The The Ladies' Singles Trophy is a silver salver, sometimes referred to as the 'Rosewater Dish' or 'Venus Rosewater Dish'. It was made in 1864 by Messrs Elkington and Co. Ltd of Birmingham (England) at a grand cost of 50 guineas, and was first presented as a Wimbledon trophy to the champion when the challenge round was introduced in 1886. The 18 3/4in diameter salver is made of sterling silver and is a copy of an electrotype by Caspar Enderlein from a pewter original in the Louvre. It features a central boss surrounded by four reserves. The theme of the decoration is mythological, with a figure of Sophrosyne (the personification of temperance and moderation) depicted on the central boss and the four reserves each containing a classical god, together with elements. The remainder of the surface is decorated with gilt renaissance strapwork and foliate motifs in relief against a rigid silver ground. Like all winners, Serena doesn't get to keep the trophy; instead it resides in the museum at the All-England club. However since 1949 all champions have received a miniature (8in diameter) replica of the trophy salver. This win brings Serena's current (July 2012) record of tennis Grand Slam titles to 14 womens singles titles, 13 womens doubles title (out of 13 finals) and two mixed doubles titles. Plus, of course, two Olympics gold medals. That's some haul for a 30 year old, and after seeing her joy at winning the Wimbledon trophy again this year it seems that questions about quitting are rather premature. For a choice selection of silver salvers see That UK-based website also sells a select range of tennis trophies, awards and medals. Your tennis competition or event may not be quite as prestigious as the All England club's annual tournament, but the joy of winning needs to be recognised and rewarded at all levels.