Serena Williams will be seen in action at the US Open 2022 as most likely her career’s final tournament.
Williams one of topmost names in the tennis world, has so far bagged 23 Grand Slam singles titles and accolade of the greatest player of all time. Earlier this month, Williams announced her retirement plans, however, all eyes will be set on her when she will take the hard court on Monday.
Before, moving ahead to US Open, here’s a look at some of her memorable finals at the majors:
1999 US Open
Williams clinched her first Slam title at Flushing Meadows after defeating Switzerland’s Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). She was just 17 years old when in the tournament, she managed to defeat the likes of Conchita Martinez, Monica Seles and 1998 champion Lindsay Davenport. She also became the first black woman to win a major since Althea Gibson in 1958.
“It’s really amazing for me just to even have an opportunity to be compared as great as Althea Gibson. She was a great player. It’s pretty exciting for me,” she said.
2002 French Open
After 1999, Serena had to wait for three years to win a second Slam wherein. she defeated her own sister Venus 7-5, 6-3 in the final at Roland Garros. However, the sisters had met once before on the court in 2001 where Venus clinched the major final in New York in 2001.
“I am so happy to have won my second Grand Slam in three years, but obviously I am also a little bit sad for my sister,” said Serena who went on to win the French Open again in 2013 and 2015.
The 2002 title match in Paris was the first of four consecutive Slam finals between the sisters with Serena winning all four of them.
2003 Australian Open
Williams won her first Australian Open in 2003 and completed the ‘Serena Slam’ after an epic 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4 win against her sister, Venus.
Serena bagged the world number one spot and also became the fifth woman in history after Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf to hold all four Slams at the same time.
“I can’t believe that I can be compared to these women, to be in their category is really amazing. I am making history right now, it doesn’t happen every day,” she said.
Serena and Venus met four times in Wimbledon finals but the closest of clashes was in 2003 when Venus battled gallantly despite an abdominal injury and hip problem. Though Venus lost the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a very close battle but she marked her name in bold for her courage and strength.
“She’s tougher than I ever thought she was
“I knew she was tough but she’s gone on to a whole different level. To play today knowing she was injured, she’s definitely up there with the real fighters and champions,” said Serena.
In 2012, Williams defeated Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 for a fifth Wimbledon title and 14th at the Slams.
The victory was even sweeter as Williams was returning to Court after a year as she was dealing with a leg injury and a pulmonary embolism between 2010 and 2011.
“I can’t even describe it. I almost didn’t make it a few years ago. I was in hospital but now I’m here again and it was so worth it. I’m so happy,” she said.
2017 Australian Open
Williams won her 23rd and most recent Slam in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Venus. She achieved this remarkable feat while pregnant with daughter Olympia.
This seventh Australian Open title also allowed the 35-year-old to reclaim the world number one ranking.
It was the sisters’ 28th career meeting and ninth in Slam finals.
Serena mentioned, “There’s no way I would be at 23 without Venus. She’s my inspiration.”
The two sisters have always been neck-to-neck in all the clashes and have celebrated each other’s victory. After 2018, the two will be once again seen together in doubles at US Open 2022.
(With AFP Inputs)