Great players do not like losing, of course. Even players who aren't considered the best ever do not like losing. Heck, check me out in my city's Men's B singles league and watch me lose and you might think by my reaction I had just lost the Wimbledon final.
But I would be happy with finishing in second place (just not last place). This is where Serena Williams and I differ (among many other ways - she happens to be successful, for one). In a recent book about Naomi Osaka, writer Ben Rothenberg tells an interesting story about Serena Williams' reaction to losing to Osaka in the 2018 US Open final. Williams apparently does not like to finish anything from first.
After a testy final when Williams was issued three code of conduct warnings due to arguing with the chair umpire, and after losing to Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-4, Williams seemed gracious in defeat in her on-court post-match speech. But inside she must have been boiling.
Serena Williams seemingly classless in loss to Naomi Osaka in 2018
According to the book with the ridiculously long title of Naomi Osaka: Her Journey to Finding Her Power and Her Voice. as soon as the players walked off the court and behind closed doors, Williams threw her second-place trophy in the garbage.
An attendant attempted to return the trophy to Williams only to be met by Williams saying, "I. Don’t. Play. For. Second. Place." Not classy, Serena.
Emma Raducanu's injuries were too much
Speaking with one of her sponsors (Porsche) recently, Raducanu discussed how her injuries not only kept her off the court but even when she tried to play through the pain she was not going to achieve much. After winning the 2021 US Open as a qualifier and not dropping a set on her way to the final, Raducanu felt more pressure to produce results at a high level. This caused her to not take the time off she needed to rest any injuries.
Raducanu said, "I knew for a while before I did the surgeries that I needed it. I was only practicing 45 minutes a day. I couldn’t practice everything I wanted to because of the pain. I felt very undercooked when I would go into matches and unprepared."
Former No. 1 claims Rafael Nadal is the "most important player" ever
Former ATP No. 1 Mats Wilander seems like a nice guy who doesn't like to ruffle feathers very much. But some words he said recently might upset fans of the Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Speaking with Eurosport, Wilander believes that neither 24-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic nor Federer is the most important player of all time (nor are Rod Laver or Bjorn Borg and so on), but instead Nadal is.
According to Wilander, "(Nadal is) one of the greatest players of all time, and maybe the most important professional tennis player of all time."