Serena Williams announced Tuesday that the countdown to her retirement had begun with tennis after a career that brought her 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
Here are six of his most memorable finals at the majors:
1999 US Open
At just 17, his first Grand Slam title came in Flushing Meadows thanks to a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Swiss Martina Hingis. Williams had defeated the likes of Conchita Martinez, Monica Seles and 1998 champion Lindsay Davenport on the way. She was also the first black woman to win a major label since Althea Gibson in 1958.
“It’s really great for me to even have the opportunity to be compared to Althea Gibson. She was a great player. She’s pretty exciting to me, “she told her.
2002 French Open
Serena had to wait the better part of three years to win a second Grand Slam with a 7-5, 6-3 win over her sister Venus in the Roland Garros final. Venus had won the sisters’ only other previous fight in a major final in New York in 2001.
“I’m so happy to have won my second Grand Slam in three years, but of course I’m also a little sad for my sister,” said Serena who won the French Open again in 2013 and 2015.
The 2002 title match in Paris was the first of four consecutive Grand Slam finals between the sisters with Serena winning all four.
2003 Australian Open
Williams wins her first Australian Open and completes the “Serena Slam” after an epic 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4 win against Venus.
World number one has become only the fifth woman in history to hold all four Grand Slams simultaneously after Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.
“I can’t believe I can be compared to these women, being in their category is really amazing,” she said.
“I’m making history right now, it doesn’t happen every day.”
Serena and Venus met in four Wimbledon finals, but the 2003 duel was the closest. Venus fought gallantly despite an abdominal injury and hip problem before losing 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
“She is stronger than I ever thought she was,” said Serena. “I knew she was tough, but she took it to a whole different level. To play today knowing she was injured, she is definitely up there with the real fighters and champions. “
Williams defeated Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 for a fifth Wimbledon title and 14th at the Grand Slams.
However, the result was even more remarkable as the American was sidelined for a year between 2010 and 2011 for a leg injury and pulmonary embolism.
“I can’t even describe it. I almost didn’t make it a few years ago. I was in the hospital but now I’m back here and it was worth it. I am so happy.”
Australian Open 2017
Her 23rd and most recent Grand Slam triumph came in Melbourne with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Venus during her daughter Olympia’s pregnancy.
A seventh Australian Open title allowed the 35-year-old to also claim number one in the world rankings.
It was the sisters’ 28th career fight and the ninth in a Grand Slam final.
“There is no way I can be 23 without Venus. It’s my inspiration, ”said Serena.
The sisters played two more times with Serena saying goodbye to Venus in their last fight, fittingly at the US Open in the third round in 2018. – Agence France-Presse