Michael Jordan surprised Serena Williams with a gift after she clinched her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2017.
It is often said that ‘Game recognizes game’. In the sporting world, the appreciation, love, and mutual respect what athletes from different sports hold for each other are highly commendable. Two such athletes, who have often shown their respect to each other are basketball legend Michael Jordan and tennis superstar Serena Williams.
There have been many instances of Jordan taking matters ‘personally’ on the basketball court, and proving his dominance over his opponents. He has been known for using opponents’ words to add fuel to his fire. Although, when required MJ too gives his appreciation to the deserving.
Back in 2017, Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams in the finals of the Australian Open. It was Serena’s 23rd Grand Slam title and 7th at Australia. Jordan, who claimed to be a Serena fan, took note of her historic moment and decided to surprise her with a gift.
“Thank you, Michael Jordan”: Serena Williams was left speechless after receiving the gift
Serena was in an interview with SportsCenter when she was handed a box. A box which came from ‘a very very special and a very accomplished fan’. Inside the box was a letter alongside a new red and black pair of NikeCourt Flare AJ1 sneaker that she puts on after winning her title, as well as a pink and black Air Jordan 1 shoe. Williams read out loud the letter:
“Winning is hard. It takes years of hard work, mental toughness, and a willingness to accept the fact that you hate to lose. Congratulations, with much respect on winning No. 23. It will be a privilege to keep watching your determination on the court.”
Arguably, both American athletes are one of the if not the greatest players in their respective sports. Both of them have a highly impressive resume are regarded as the GOAT of their sports. Williams and Jordan both, have been respected worldwide for their dedication to the sport.
As Serena was made aware of the gift, he was obviously stunned. She struggled to find words. It will obviously be a surreal moment for any athlete. One of the greatest athletes in the world validating you. She thanked MJ for the gift:
“These are my shoes in my favorite colors. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Michael Jordan. I can’t believe I’m saying thank you to Michael Jordan.”