Lord have mercy. That was my first reaction when into my in-box appeared a link to bossip.com with a picture of Serena doing somebody's feet. Apparently Serena has decided to purchase a nail salon and, like any good business woman, has perhaps elected to educate herself from the ground up. So there she was with an orange stick and somebody’s not-so-attractive feet, as she labored to get the job done.
Lord have mercy. It was all I could think to say. I know that it’s Lent and all but I don’t think that my comment reflected any kind of religious dedication. It had more to do with shock, and just a tinge of embarrassment, which may admittedly be unfair.
I am all for tennis players preparing for a life after tennis. After all, this is a sport that will not last forever, certainly not at the top levels when so much is demanded from players both mentally and physically. So in principle I have nothing against players making plans for their post-tennis hereafter.
For many players, life after tennis continues to involve tennis in some form or fashion. When Justine Henin quit for the first time, she and her coach opened a tennis coaching school. So did Juan Carlos Ferrero whose program in Spain has become renowned. Even LLeyton Hewitt has given notice in a fashion by announcing his commitment to an up-and-coming female protege. And Marat Safin has announced his intention to go into business.
Many tennis players go on to become tennis commentators, some with more success than others. I keep meaning to write an entry about the ghastly number of bad tennis commentators, headed by Tennis Channel's low-budget line-up. There’s so much to be said for folks going to school and actually studying journalism.
Some tennis players dedicate themselves to pursuits as far from tennis as possible. Yannick Noah put out a couple of earnest music Cds. Too bad for him that they made for painful listening. Gustavo Kuerten is not only a surfer dude but actually has plans to study drama at university. And isn't Carlos Moya something of a soap star? Not to mention Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf who both became dedicated philanthropists.
But this may be the first time that a player has voluntarily enrolled in nail school. Serena Williams will be doing nails. Don’t take my word for it, let me let her speak for herself:
“No one likes getting their nails done more than I do. As a matter of fact I go every 4 days to get a manicure and every 7 days for a pedicure. So, I had a brilliant idea to get certified to be a nail tech. Besides the fact that I am coming out with a nail collection from a company called HairTech, I thought "Serena this is a no brainer." Immediately after I came home from the Australian Open I researched some schools and enrolled in a course that allowed me to complete 240 hours (that's what u have to do to get certified at least in fla) at my own pace. 240 hours may seem like a lot, but I intend on completing it within the year. It normally takes 6 weeks!!!
“The night before my class I made sure I had all my tools, books and gear organized. I went to the hello kitty store and bought plenty of containers as well as a backpack to keep my belongings. If I'm not the best, I sure do want to look like it. Not only do I plan on being the top student to graduate from my nail school, but I also intend on being the most fashionable! We have to wear blue scrubs. So I asked the administrator can I wear pink but she insisted on blue. I found the cutest blue scrub top (Grey's Anatomy should take note) and super cute cargo pants! Before bed, I stayed up studying for a few hours just so I could be ahead of the class.”
Serena then goes on to gloat that on her very first day, she actually did a French pedicure! Time flew as she was having fun! She is even open to picking up a part-time job at the salon! Who knows, maybe next time I’m in town, I may actually allow her to practice on my feet. Lord have mercy.