A little more joy


So I didn’t watch the match between Serena Williams and Garbiñe Muguruza from Venezuela the other day, just caught the highlights.  But it made me happy to see the way Muguruza reacted after the upset.  This photo (from Sports Illustrated) is from immediately after she converted match point.

She looks happy in the photo, but in the video you see she’s not just happy.  She’s five-year-old-girl happy.  And that’s a good thing.

Made me wonder why it stood out so much.  We see athletes celebrating all the time in team sports, and I love (for example) the way baseball players jump and scream like school kids for a walk-off win in the middle of May.  We need more joy in the world.

I think Muguruza’s reaction was so sweet because she closed her eyes.  Didn’t seem to be playing to the crowd, or showing up Serena at all.  Just overcome, in that moment, with joy in being where (and who) she was.

About the author

Tom Howard

Tom Howard is the author of Fierce Pretty Things (Indiana University Press, 2019).

He received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Fierce Pretty Things won the 2018 Blue Light Books Fiction Prize, and his individual stories have won the Ninth Letter Literary Award in Fiction, the Indiana Review Fiction Prize, the Robert and Adele Schiff Award for Fiction, the Carve Magazine Prose & Poetry Contest, the Tobias Wolff Award in Fiction, the Innovative Short Fiction Prize, the Willow Springs Ficiton Prize, the Rash Award in Fiction, and the Robert J. DeMott Award for Short Prose.

He lives with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.

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