Top 10 moments in Serena Williams’ tennis career

Samad HaqueSamad Haque

August 17 2022
Serena Williams

The American will play her last Grand Slam in her own country in August.

In a big blow to the world of tennis and fans worldwide, Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players has announced that she will be retiring from the sport to focus on her family and business endeavours. The news came out last week when Vogue magazine posted a first-person piece wherein Williams explained that the decision to quit was a hard one to make.

“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labour of expanding our family,” Williams wrote.

Nevertheless, she said, “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter,” adding, “I’m turning 41 this month and something’s got to give.”

However, Williams will turn to grace the court for one last time, as she is expected to play at the US Open to be held from 29th August 2022 to 11th September 2022. The 40-year-old has won the competition six times in singles and also was the runner-up four times throughout her career. 

In this article, we’ll be counting down the top 10 moments from the legendary player’s career:

10. First few wins in Chicago – 1997

A string of victories against the then World No. 7 Mary Pierce and World No. 4 Monica Seles saw Selena, who then ranked 304 reached the semi-finals, stunning every tennis fan around the globe.

Even though she crashed out in the semi-final against Lindsay Davenport, Williams had done enough to show the world that she was one of the players to look out for in the coming years.

9. First grand slam victory – 1999

Serena Williams on winning her first grand slam at US Open 1999. (Courtesy – US Open)

It was in 1998 that Serena Williams began competing in her first Grand Slam. The year, in particular, was very good for her as she reached 20 in the rankings by the end of the year.

In 1999, Serena Williams bagged her first ever Grand Slam victory by defeating the then World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the finals in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (7-4). The victory paved the way for the beginning of the sporting miracle that Serena Williams is today.

8. Powerful response to racism at Indian Wells – 2001

Serena’s stance against racism has been as solid as her gameplay on the court. One of the biggest challenges came in her match against Kim Clijsters at the 2001 Indian Wells tournament in California.

It all started when Richard Williams, Serena’s father, was accused of match-fixing after Serena’s sister Venus withdrew from the tournament owing to tendonitis. When Serena stepped onto the court, she was met by overwhelming boos from the crowd, who jeered at each of her unforced errors. Both Serena and her sister quietly boycotted the tournament for almost 14 years.

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7. World No.1 for the first time – 2002

By 2002, the whole world knew that Serena was a special player and one to look out for in the coming years. She rose to the numero uno spot in 2002 when she defeated her own sister. Venus was then two-time defending champion of the U.S Open at the time, at Roland-Garros without even losing a set in the tournament. She stayed the No.1 ranked player for the next 57 weeks.

6. The first Serena Slam – 2003

What is referred to as the “Serena Slam” here is being the defending champion of all the four major singles competitions at the same time. This happened after she defeated Venus Roland-Garros, becoming the first woman to achieve the feat since Steffi Graff in 1994 back then.

5. Serena’s comeback after a tough period – 2007

Serena Williams went through a very tough period after 2002, as she picked up a severe knee injury that forced her out of action for quite some time. The situation got worse when her older half-sister Yetunde Price, who had previously worked as her personal assistant, was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity, relating to gang violence in the family’s hometown of Compton, California.

The next few years were what Serena refers to as some of the toughest years she has had to go through, wherein she suffered from depression. She made a remarkable comeback at the Australian Open in 2007, which she won despite being ranked 84th in the world rankings. She defeated her rival Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the final – 6-1 6-2. 

4. Completing her Golden Slam at the Olympics – 2012

Serena Williams on winning her Olympic gold in London. (Courtesy – Essentially Sports)

The 2012 Olympics w very special for Serena, as she won the tennis singles and became the only woman after Steffi Graf to achieve the feat of the Golden Slam- Winning all four major titles along with the Olympic gold medal. She won the final by defeating Maria Sharapova – 6-0 6-1. 

3. Winning the doubles gold medal with Venus – 2012

The Williams sisters have been known to be the fiercest rivals on court and have produced some great matches whenever they were pitted against each other.

However, that was not it. The two share a very special bond and this was evident in their celebrations at the 2012 Olympics after she won the Doubles gold medal with her sister.

2. The second Serena Slam – 2015

Williams entered her 30s by the early 2010s, an age where it’s assumed that things start going downhill for athletes. However, that wasn’t the case with Serena. After being down with pulmonary embolism detected in 2011, she returned to the court in 2013 with renewed vigour. She claimed her spot back at No. 1 at the age of 31. She became the oldest No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player.

Following soon after was one of Serena’s most impressive winning streaks, concluding with her victory over Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon in 2015. Marking her fourth Grand Slam win in a row, she had completed her impressive Serena Slam for a second time. She once again proved that age is just a number and sealed her status as one of the sport’s most dominant players.

1. Winning the Australian Open while being pregnant – 2017

In 2017, Serena Williams defeated her sister again at the Australian Open. In the match, Serena did not even drop a set. A few weeks later the American revealed that she was eight weeks pregnant at the time.

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