Almost 34-year-old woman playing what is called, the best tennis in her life. She has won each of her 24 Grand Slam singles matches this year, and if she runs off four more, she will achieve the first calendar-year Slam in 27 years, going back to Steffi Graf’s perfect journey in 1988. Before that? Margaret Smith Court in 1970 and Rod Laver’s epic Grand Slams in 1962 and 1969.
Playing Flavia Pennetta in her first match at Toronto earlier this month, Serena found herself down a set and a break — and temporarily sort of lost her mind. She rallied, of course, to win in three sets. It was a fast, furious and full of fight 6-0 in the third.