DALLAS — There are a lot of lessons athletes, young women or, really, just any person could take from Serena Williams' nearly three-decades-long career.
"I love how she directs her balls," North Dallas High School Tennis Player Oluwa Kemi said. "She knows how to direct her balls. That’s something I want to work on."
Kemi, who is 15, said she watched as Williams walked out on the court Monday night for her first-round match at the U.S. Open.
"She's just there tall, standing and the way she holds her racket... She's amazing," Kemi said.
Three weeks ago, Williams dropped the bombshell that she will retire after the tournament in the September issue of Vogue.
Multiple outlets reported that 2.7 million people tuned into ESPN for the first round Monday night, making it the most watched opening round of the tournament ever.
Her impact on the sport is undeniable, as is her impact on young women around the world.
“It’s a story of perseverance. She played through a lot of noise," North Dallas Head Tennis Coach Natoscha-Yvonne Golightly said.
The Williams sisters were trailblazers in tennis, but also in style both on and off the court.
“I think she shows us a great balance of femininity and excellence in your sport," Golightly said.
Young female athletes like Kemi are taking notice.
“It shows that even as a Black girl, or whatever race you are, you can do what you love and look beautiful while you do it," Kemi said.
From tennis skills to expressing personal style to standing tall against adversity, Williams' legacy will long outlive her career.
As millions wait and watch for the last professional swing of her racket, the list of lessons she's taught the world in the match of life continues to grow.
"Not everyone’s going to cheer you on," Golightly said. "But if you keep going, the crowd that cheers for you will get louder."
In this case, very loud.