Serena Williams continues to dominate the WTA tour, even as she approaches her 34th birthday. Twenty years into a staggering professional tennis career, Williams’ resume keeps getting more impressive with each passing year. In celebration of her 20th Grand Slam title, this list takes a closer look at Serena’s career with each number representing a milestone or significant occurrence in her pilgrimage to tennis history.
1: Williams has now spent 244 weeks as the top ranked player on the WTA (fourth all-time) and 121 consecutive weeks at #1 (active – third all-time).
2: Serena’s tennis prowess extends to mixed doubles where she won two titles partnering Max Mirnyi in 1998. In fact, she made four consecutive mixed doubles finals from ’98 French Open through ’99 Australian Open.
3: With Saturday’s win over Lucie Safarova in the Roland Garros final, Williams now owns three French crowns and can claim to have won a career grand slam as many times. The number also represents the few times she’s made it to the semifinals of a Slam without advancing to the final (24/27).
4: Both Williams sisters own four Olympic gold medals: one each in singles, and three in doubles.
5: To date, Serena has won five Venus Rosewater Dishes at Wimbledon and a matching number of Tour Championship titles.
6: Williams has six wins each at the U.S. and Australian Opens, the most by any player at either event (she shares first with Chris Evert at U.S. Open).
7: Serena has lost only seven WTA finals in the last decade (42-7). Seven also denotes the number of times Williams has won a match 6-0 6-0 in her career.
8: Number of times she’s played her sister in a Grand Slam final (6-2).
9: Years since Chris Evert wrote her (in)famous open letter to Serena urging her to focus more on tennis. Almost 24 at the time, Serena has since added 13 Slams to surpass Evert as the top American titlist.
10: Total number of finals made by Williams at the Miami Masters, winning eight.
11: The number of years in between winning French Open titles (2002-2013). It was also at age 11 that Serena was asked, “if you were a tennis player, who would you want to be like?” Her response: “I like other people to be like me.”
12: Total number of clay court titles won by Williams in her career, the most of any active player. Her 12 hard court Slam titles are also the most in tennis history.
13: Venus and Serena have partnered to win 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, never losing in a final. The number also represents the grand sum of losses by the sisters in Slam doubles events (115-13).
14: Having once vowed to never return to Indian Wells, Serena changed her mind and played the event in 2015 for the first time in 14 years.
15: The number of years between her first and most recent U.S. Open titles (1999-2014), an all-time record.
16: Consecutive wins over Maria Sharapova, dating back to 2004. After losing back-to-back matches that year, including the Wimbledon final, Williams has not lost to Sharapova in almost 11 years. Sixteen is also the total of #1 players Williams has beaten in her career.
17: How old Williams was when she won her first Slam title at the 1999 U.S. Open, and the number of WTA finals lost by Williams over her career (67-17).
18: Record-tying number for Williams, who joined Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova as winner of 18 Slam titles with her 2014 U.S. Open triumph.
19: (93-19): Number of total career losses when combining Williams’ record against 10 multiple Slam winners: Sharapova, Li, Kuznetsova, Azarenka, Clijsters, Kvitova, Mauresmo, Pierce, Davenport, and Seles. Her record against the trio of Hingis, Capriati and Henin is a lesser, but still impressive, 39-30.
20: Williams owns a 20-4 record in Grand Slam finals. Moreover, she’s won 20 of a total 59 Slam singles events entered – a clip of better than one out of three. This season also marks the 20th anniversary of Serena’s first professional tennis match.
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