Wild card. Brutal Draw. Champion. This is what I wrote at the end of March:
Full disclosure: I was never a fan. But when I read the reports that her father died of cancer, the first thing I thought was, She's definitely going to come back now.
The loss of a father can be one of the most transforming experiences of a person's life, no matter how old they are. But for someone as young as Kim, who just had a child of her own, I can imagine that the only thing she can do with her grief is get out on the court and train and grind, but above all else, compete. Afterall, her father brought her to the sport.
She always struck me as a politician. Something about the way she presented Miss Congeniality to the media and the fans, but behind the scenes, she seemed ruthless about getting her way. Like a good politician, she leaked her announcement to the press and followed it up days later with a huge press conference.
As we bemoan the current boredom of the women's tour, this announcement couldn't come at a better time. Beloved around the world and with a game that will give all these young ball-bashing baseliners fits (for those who think Victoria Azarenka is the next champion, think again...), her mere presence will inject the tour with some much-needed life.
Who knows, maybe motherhood and father loss will cure her biggest liability -- her mental frailty -- and she will go on to win another Slam or two.
Surely she can see her opportunities. Now she intends to seize them.
Oh, how she seized them. The only player to beat Venus and Serena in the same event twice. That will remain the gold standard. The first mother to win a major in 29 years. The first wild card to win the US Open period. The first unranked player to win a Slam ever. Her first Slam back.
When she went into the stands to kiss her husband, I was moved. He quit his job to support and accompany her on this journey.
The whole family celebrated. "See Grandpa up there smiling down?"
I don't need to be a fan. But a remarkable story is a remarkable story.