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Serena Williams: 23 Grand Slam Titles, within the Books


How long has Serena Williams been a champion? She won her first Grand Slam singles title within the twentieth century.

Williams was 17 when she won the 1999 U.S. Open. She had beads in her hair and, even at that early stage, loads of sting in her strokes as she knocked out five past or future major champions, including the 18-year-old Martina Hingis in the ultimate.

“Oh, my God, I won, oh my God,” Williams said, her hand to her chest, looking as surprised as the remaining of us.

Williams has seldom been the underdog since, but surprises have continued to be her trademark.

When she won the 2017 Australian Open, she was well aware that she was two months pregnant, but she kept the key from all but her closest family and friends in the course of the tournament and within the weeks that followed.

Now, the trophy from that victory sits on a shelf within the bedroom of her daughter, Olympia, who will turn 5 in September.

A robust argument may be made that that victory, which was Williams’s twenty third Grand Slam singles title, was as remarkable as her first, when she became the primary African American woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to win the U.S. Open.

Seven of Williams’s other major singles victories have come against her older sister Venus, who was born just 15 months ahead of her.

Williams, who said in Vogue this month that she plans to retire from tennis, is one championship shy of Margaret Court’s profession record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. Williams is ready to compete again on this yr’s U.S. Open, which might be her last likelihood to tie Court’s record.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record,” Williams told the magazine. “Obviously I do. But daily, I’m really not occupied with her.”

Listed below are excerpts from The Recent York Times’s coverage of Williams’s 23 Grand Slam titles.

1999 U.S. OPEN

Using her racket like a stun gun to pound and paralyze her savvy opponent, the No. 1-ranked Martina Hingis, into submission, Serena Williams, the 17-year-old follow-up act to her big sister phenom, Venus, captured the ladies’s championship at the USA Open in her first appearance in a Grand Slam final.

“Oh, my God, I won, oh my God,” the jubilant Williams mouthed, clasping each hands to her thumping heart, after Hingis motored a double-handed backhand out of bounds on Williams’s third match point. That sealed a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) upset for the youngest of the five Williams sisters, the one who calls herself the family extrovert. — Robin Finn

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2002 French Open

Of the 2, Serena Williams was all the time the one with out a gatekeeper on her emotions when placed within the awkward position of playing her older sister.

It was hard to forget: Venus was the one she all the time leaned on as a baby; the one who gave up her milk money when Serena lost hers; the one with the stoic veneer of a bodyguard.

Today, the Williams sisters reversed roles. Serena held on, while Venus got here undone. Once the last unsteady backhand by Venus plunged into the web on the fifteenth stroke of match point, Serena bent over in pure relief, winning the French Open, 7-5, 6-3, and taking her first major title because the 1999 United States Open. — Selena Roberts

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2002 Wimbledon

Serena Williams would punch a forehand into the deepest corner of the court, at angled degrees of difficulty that defied the condor wingspan of her older sister Venus.

At times, she would throw a fist, growl or scream to punctuate her winner. At times, Venus would wince, drop her head or coax herself to try harder with an audible “Come on!”

Unveiling their emotions, fidgeting with the ferocity normally reserved just for others, Venus and Serena discarded their sibling code of conduct during Wimbledon final.

They played one another, no mental baggage attached. Once Serena tucked away her first Wimbledon title, 7-6 (4), 6-3, throwing down a 103-mile-an-hour serve that was too twisting for Venus to return, they greeted one another at the web like peculiar rivals.

A pat on the back, a form word, after which Serena was off, waving toward the group with a smile as wide because the English Channel, ending off a day when two African-Americans played in a Wimbledon final for the primary time.

Venus was glad for her little sister, but not the best way she was on the French Open, which was won by Serena last month, when Venus snapped pictures with the photographers. Rather more subdued, almost moribund, Venus can have been coming to grips with the undeniable fact that, at this moment, her little sister is the more dangerous of the 2. — Selena Roberts

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To start with, Venus Williams handed down the key formula to her little sister, Serena, provided all of the answers behind the book, but last night the one who took on tennis first left the court worn down from a season of disheartening discovery: the copy has develop into higher than the unique.

Although visibly drained, Venus Williams is just not the kind to show her emotions in an Oprah-style catharsis. So, she forced a smile after

Serena Williams picked her apart during a 6-4, 6-3 victory for the USA Open championship; and Venus patted her younger sister on the shoulder after Serena’s third major championship in a row, each at Venus’s expense. — Selena Roberts

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2003 Australian Open

Lower than a yr ago, after she needed to withdraw from the Australian Open with a sprained ankle, she was still attempting to catch up together with her big sister. But in a wide ranging, fist-pumping, title-gobbling hurry, Serena Williams has develop into one among the greats.

She confirmed it at Rod Laver Arena, maintaining her edge over her older sibling Venus by a much slimmer margin than usual to win this yr’s Australian Open, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, and develop into only the fifth woman to carry all 4 Grand Slam singles titles without delay.

“It’s really special to have come such a good distance,” she said.

It was not quite a real Grand Slam, which requires winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the USA Open in the identical calendar yr. That feat was achieved by Maureen Connolly in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988. As an alternative, Serena has chosen to dub her run the Serena Slam, an allusion to Tiger Woods’s similar achievement in golf. — Christopher Clarey

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2003 Wimbledon

Once more, Serena Williams won a Grand Slam singles title with mixed emotions.

In peculiar circumstances, defending a Wimbledon title can be, at least, cause for a whoop of pleasure and the broadest of grins, but there’s nothing peculiar concerning the story of the Williams sisters. When the newest, plot-enriching chapter got here to an in depth with Venus Williams’s forehand return flying wide, Serena’s response was muted as she jogged to the web.

It may be getting easier for Serena to play her older sister, however it continues to be not nearly similar to matching huge ground strokes and healthy egos with an outsider. Playing Venus when she was injured only added a layer of complexity.

“I just had to inform myself to have a look at the ball and nothing else,” Serena told the group on Center Court after a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory gave her a sixth Grand Slam singles title. — Christopher Clarey

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2005 Australian Open

There have been no match points to be saved, no regular accumulation of suspense, no gravity-defying series of leaps when victory was secure.

Nevertheless it was a surprising turnabout just the identical, and though Williams was walking and serving gingerly within the early stages of this Australian Open final, she was soon swinging freely and watching Lindsay Davenport’s errant groundstrokes and second serves fly by at an incredible, anticlimactic rate.

Midway through the lopsided third set, it appeared obvious to everyone under the closed roof in Rod Laver Arena, including Davenport, that Williams was on her technique to her second Australian Open title and seventh Grand Slam singles title. — Christopher Clarey

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2007 Australian Open

It has been two weeks of turning back the clock for Serena Williams, and under a closed roof in the course of the Australian Open women’s final Saturday, she accomplished her astoundingly quick trip back to dominance against the top-seeded Maria Sharapova.

Under the lights, she was the relentless Williams of yore: crushing returns and first serves, casting ominous glances across the web and showing not the slightest hint of vulnerability as she raced to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

The rout, which required only one hour and three minutes, capped one of the crucial remarkable comebacks in tennis history, and it got here against the young, confident woman who will regain the No. 1 rating on Monday.

But there might be little doubt about who was No. 1 Saturday, as Williams applied enormous pressure from the beginning and methodically extracted all of the suspense to win her eighth Grand Slam singles title and third Australian Open title. — Christopher Clarey

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No world No. 1 in women’s tennis has slogged through so desolate a valley between peaks than Serena Williams. After relinquishing the highest spot in August 2003, Williams fell to this point that she wasn’t inside echoing distance of the summit two years ago.

Outside the highest 125 at the moment in 2006, Williams accomplished her climb back to No. 1 Sunday night with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Jelena Jankovic to assert her third United States Open title. — Karen Crouse

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2009 Australian Open

The ladies’s final had finished in lower than an hour, and Serena Williams was walking down the hall in Melbourne Park lined with photos of past Australian Open champions, including herself.

In her arms, held tightly to her chest, was the big Daphne Akhurst Trophy that goes to the ladies’s champion.

“It’s mine again,” Williams said in a lilting voice.

Williams got no argument from Dinara Safina on Saturday night. After two weeks of uncertainty concerning the true state of Williams’s form, suddenly there was nothing but brutal clarity. — Christopher Clarey

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2009 Wimbledon

Wimbledon has long been the Williams sisters’ territory, however it was Venus, not Serena, who had the most important stake within the place. It was Venus who had won five singles titles, including the last two. It was Venus who had won 20 straight singles matches and 34 straight sets.

Despite few hints of regime change within the early rounds, this didn’t turn into her yr. As an alternative, it was younger sister Serena’s turn to maintain the Wimbledon inscribers busy. She broke open this often-edgy final midway through the second set after which secured her third Wimbledon singles title by breaking Venus’s serve in a decent final game to win. — Christopher Clarey

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2010 Australian Open

As Serena Williams collapsed on the court, weary and elated after capturing her fifth Australian Open title, those that follow tennis, or perhaps sports of any kind, knew that they had witnessed the performance of an incredible champion. She had turned back a reasonably good champion in Justine Henin for a hard-fought victory.

Williams, 28, fought through pain to earn it — her right thigh and left knee and wrist were wrapped, as they’ve been for the past two weeks. And her grimaces and hobbled steps as she battled Henin further betrayed her distress.

Williams’s ability to endure is one among her vital intangibles, as is her ardor for the competitive a part of the sport. — Joe Drape

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2010 Wimbledon

At the tip of the Wimbledon women’s singles final, Serena Williams turned toward her family within the stands. She flashed 10 fingers, then 3 fingers, for a complete of 13 — her updated tally of Grand Slam singles titles.

Along with her demolition of Vera Zvonareva, Williams accrued one other avalanche of aces, hoisted one other trophy and took one other step forward amongst tennis’s greats. Afterward, she confirmed what once seemed obvious, one other otherworldly performance notwithstanding.

“I’m totally human,” Williams said.

The most recent trophy marked her fourth Wimbledon singles title and allowed her to pass Billie Jean King for sixth place on the ladies’s profession major singles championships list. In an on-court interview, her smile as wide because the English Channel, Williams said, “Hey, Billie, I got you.” — Greg Bishop

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2012 Wimbledon

For Serena Williams, the tears got here slowly, a release of all of the emotions that had accrued during the last two weeks, the last two months, the last two years.

There was the euphoria of winning her fifth singles title at Wimbledon, tying her older sister Venus, and her 14th in a Grand Slam tournament. The satisfaction of purging a shocking French Open implosion and the aura of vulnerability that followed. The relief that comes with reviving a profession on the brink, from cheating death, from outlasting a patient and protracted adversary who threatened with a comeback nearly as stirring as Williams’s.

Her appreciation of those moments is bigger than it was 13 years ago, when at age 17 she announced her presence on the 1999 United States Open. There may be a component of selflessness, of humility, that comes, perhaps, with age and maturity. Now 30, Williams is the primary woman in her 30s to capture a Grand Slam since Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon in 1990 at age 33.

“Oh my God, I can’t even describe it,” Williams said during an on-court interview on a blustery and chilly Centre Court. — Ben Shpigel

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2012 U.S. Open

After a set, a fourth United States Open title for Serena Williams looked like a foregone conclusion as she ripped serves and ground strokes at Arthur Ashe with the identical intimidating mix of power and precision that has defined her summer.

Who could have imagined then that by the tip of this evening, victory would come as a surprise, leaving Williams together with her eyes wide and her hands to her head?

“I used to be preparing my runners-up speech,” Williams said.

She would have been obliged to deliver it if the world’s No. 1-ranked player, Victoria Azarenka, had seized her opportunity when serving for the match at 5-4 within the third set. Although Azarenka had done an often-admirable job of coping with Williams’s first-strike pressure on this big-swinging final, she couldn’t quite handle the possibility to win her first United States Open.

Williams, whose form and body language had fluctuated wildly after the opening set, wouldn’t lose her way again, putting an exclamation point on the feel-good story of her summer of tennis by closing out a victory that can rank amongst her most memorable. — Christopher Clarey

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2013 French Open

Serena Williams has tried to master French, as she has finally mastered the French Open again. So after she had served five aces in her last seven service points to beat Maria Sharapova, and had gone down on her knees and put her head to the clay in celebration, Williams kept up her recent habit of constructing her postmatch remarks to the group within the local language.

“I’m incredible,” she said in French.

That might be not what she meant to say. But for accuracy, if not for her command of a second language, it is difficult to argue with the sentiment. And it’s now possible to make the case that she has a likelihood to develop into the best women’s player in tennis history.

Williams seized one among the few achievements that had eluded her — a second French Open, to match the one she won in 2002, a tennis lifetime ago. At 31, she has won 16 Grand Slam singles events, and appears nowhere near finished. — Judy Battista

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2013 U.S. Open

Because it turned out, after 2 hours 45 minutes of raw emotion and territorial tennis, Serena Williams really could play within the wind, just as she has played and prevailed in so many conditions and circumstances through the years.

Along with her thirty second birthday approaching, Williams is in increasingly rare company as the foremost titles proceed to pile up. Although she actually wobbled in Sunday’s United States Open final — the longest recorded women’s Open final — and although Victoria Azarenka applied loads of intense, next-generation pressure, there was ultimately no depriving Williams of one other major celebration on a court where she has experienced loads of disaster to go together with her triumphs through the years.

A less resilient champion might need continued to collapse after collapsing within the second set. As an alternative, Williams exhaled and willed herself right into a more peaceful and fewer conflicted place: one where neither Azarenka nor the wind, that cursed wind, could knock her down. — Christopher Clarey

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2014 U.S. Open

Serena Williams was asked what the number 18 meant to her.

“It means legal to do some things,” she said, laughing.

But she knew what the reporter was getting at.

“It also means legendary,” she added more seriously.

She wouldn’t go to this point as to call herself legendary — “I’m just Serena,” she said — but she joined some elite company Sunday, when she tied Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova together with her 18th Grand Slam singles title.

Williams had not advanced past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament this yr, and during the last two weeks she had expressed relief and excitement at her success on the U.S. Open. When Wozniacki’s final stroke went long, Williams collapsed on her back and began to cry. In a postmatch interview, she choked up saying the word 18. — Naila-Jean Meyers

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2015 Australian Open

The record still shows that Maria Sharapova is a pushover for Serena Williams: her muse, her matchup made in tennis heaven.

Williams’s victory within the Australian Open final prolonged her winning streak against Sharapova to 16 matches, despite all the speed and volume that Sharapova has mustered during the last decade.

Forget head-to-head. That is off together with her head.

Yet Williams, who said she had a severe cold for much of this tournament, encountered some headwinds. She left the court during a rain delay in the primary set and, for the primary time in her nearly 20 years as knowledgeable, threw up during a match. — Christopher Clarey

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2015 French Open

Serena Williams was too in poor health to get away from bed for many of Friday. She was too tightly wound to shut out what would have been a routine straight-set victory against Lucie Safarova on Saturday.

But as Williams’s increasingly remarkable tennis profession has made clear, she is rarely more dangerous than when cornered.

This obstacle course of a French Open provided reminders in nearly every round as Williams hit, shrieked, swore and coughed her way through all types of trouble, including five three-set matches and a nasty case of the flu.

Saturday’s 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2 victory over Safarova was a fitting finale to what might need been Williams’s most difficult run to a Grand Slam singles title. — Christopher Clarey

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2015 Wimbledon

Three years had passed because the Wimbledon champion’s trophy was last in her possession, so Serena Williams had some fun with it.

She held it high on Centre Court with each strong arms (classic). She balanced it on her head like a book in a Nineteen Fifties charm school and walked with it (unconventional). At one stage, she even playfully declined at hand it back to a Wimbledon official (comprehensible).

“Initially of the yr, that is the one I actually desired to win,” Williams said. “In order that was the very first thing and the foremost thing on my mind.” — Christopher Clarey

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2016 Wimbledon

On the primary point of the ladies’s final at Wimbledon, Angelique Kerber ended a rally with a forehand winner down the road.

On the following, a Serena Williams backhand winner scorched the baseline.

Yes, it was going to be one among those matches. But in contrast with the consequence of their duel within the Australian Open final in January, Williams got here out because the winner.

Williams tied Steffi Graf’s Open-era record for Grand Slam singles titles, gaining her twenty second. The win left her two wanting Margaret Court’s overall record of 24 Grand Slam titles from 1960 to 1973.

Williams, 34, had not won a significant championship since last yr’s Wimbledon, losing within the semifinals on the 2015 United States Open and the finals on the Australian and French Opens this yr.

Although she had tried to play down the importance of No. 22, she acknowledged that it was a “relief” to get there, and that there had been “some sleepless nights” after her recent Grand Slam losses. — Naila-Jean Meyers

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2017 Australian Open

The tennis circuit may be an echo chamber where the identical questions and themes reverberate from week to week because the locations change, however the protagonists don’t.

So even when Serena Williams refused to entertain questions in the course of the tournament about the potential of winning her twenty third Grand Slam singles title and breaking her tie for the Open-era record with Steffi Graf, there was no dodging that number in her own head.

Now, after her 6-4, 6-4 victory over her sister, she will be able to rejoice No. 23 as an alternative of fret over it.

“I’ve been chasing it for a very very long time,” Williams said. “When it got on my radar, I knew I had a chance to get there, and I’m here. It’s an incredible feeling. No higher place to do it than Melbourne.” — Christopher Clarey

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