Tennis players are some of the most versatile athletes in the world. It’s hard not to wonder how their strength, agility, focus and flexibility would translate to other sporting endeavors. So with the Winter Olympics in full swing, we couldn’t help but let our imagination run wild and match players with select events in Sochi. Here are our picks for WTA players as Winter Olympians. (Click here for ATP players as Winter Olympians.)
Alpine Skiing: Serena Williams
It’s hard not to think that Williams could be strong in any of the Winter Games’ power sports, with speed skating coming to mind first. But we like Serena as a Julia Mancuso-like alpiner. Her power and strength would be deadly around the corners and her aggressive mindset is exactly what you need when going 60 mph on slushy ice.
Snowboarding: Victoria Azarenka
Azarenka’s free-spirited nature and appreciation for self-expression make her a nice fit for snowboarding. She already takes the court wearing headphones, so dropping into the halfpipe with some tunes blasting in her ears isn’t completely foreign. Whether the famously intense Azarenka could fit into snowboarding’s laid-back culture is a different question.
UPDATE: Azarenka posted our snowboarding photo to her Instagram account and said, “That’s just too funny. I never been on a snowboard in my life but damn i look like i own it thanks for the laugh :)”
Biathlon: Maria Sharapova
The way Sharapova takes a moment before every serve to calm herself, pick her target and focus seems perfect for the shooting portion of a sport that also includes cross-country skiing. Being so tall may not be an asset in cross-country, but Sharapova loves a good challenge and is the ultimate competitor.
Figure Skating: Agnieszka Radwanska
She’s light and delicate in her movements and, given what we’ve seen of her famous squat shot, you know she has the strength and balance to pull off a solid sit-spin.
Luge: Angelique Kerber
First, the Germans rule luge. Second, Kerber’s ability to shut out the chaos around her seems to be a valuable trait for this — let’s face it — insane sport.
Speed Skating: Svetlana Kuznetsova
The Russian comes from a cycling family and she has the legs to prove it. Powerfully built, she’d fly on the ice if she could just maintain her technique and form.
Cross-Country Skiing: Caroline Wozniacki
Denmark doesn’t have the deepest tradition in cross-country, but we like Wozniacki for the sport because of her stamina.
Curling: Li Na
Li wrote in her autobiography that she loved the precision and simplicity of math and shunned the creativity required in her writing classes. So … no artistic sports for you. Curling, with its emphasis on strategy and precision, would be ideal for her. And, much like Andy Murray, our pick for curling on the men’s side, Li’s penchant for a good scream would come in handy.
Ice Hockey: Jamie Hampton
The American has great hands and an underrated flair for improvising. The female T.J. Oshie? I wouldn’t put it past her.
Composite photos by SI.com’s David Kaye