Serena and her sister Venus have dominated women's tennis for a very long time now. The Williams sisters have won an amazing 13 doubles championships in Grand Slam events and have taken home the gold medal in the Olympic Games on three separate occasions.
As far as singles competition goes though, Serena has been the more successful of the two. A good example of this is at the US Open where Serena has won the championship three times as opposed to Venus, who has won twice.
It was actually Serena who broke through first, winning her first tile in 1999 as a No. 7 seed. This was a memorable tournament run for Serena for several reasons. One was her epic quarterfinal battle with Monica Seles that went a full three sets before Serena could prevail 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In the semifinals, she would again be pushed to a third set before prevailing against Lindsay Davenport, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
The best moment for Serena though would be in the Final. There she would dismantle the No. 1 seed Martina Hingis in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (4). It was extra satisfying as Hingis had eliminated Venus in the semifinals.
The Williams sisters would reach the apex of their domination in 2002 and, as luck would have it, would square off against each other in the Final of the 2002 US Open.
Serena had been dominant in her romp to the Final. Venus had been almost as impressive although she did run into a more difficult than expected semifinal match against Amelie Mauresmo, who took Venus to three sets before falling.
In the Final, little sister was too much for her elder sibling as Serena dominated Venus and won her second US Open title, 6-4, 6-2.
After struggling with her play for many years after that, most experts figured that Serena's best years were behind her. But in 2008, as the No. 4 seed, Serena announced to the world that she was back.
Williams put together a truly dominant performance as she did not lose a set the entire tournament. Her stiffest challenge came from Venus in the quarterfinals. Serena would be taken to a tiebreaker twice but would still win in straight sets 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7).
From there, it was a straight set win over Dinara Safina in the semifinals and then a straight set win over Jelena Jankovic in the Final, 6-4, 7-5, and Serena had title number three.
Here in 2012, Serena is once again dominating play, and is through to the semifinals after another impressive win over Ana Ivanovic (ESPN). She looks incredible and could very well walk away with her fourth title this year.
If that happens, then she will have to be in the Top Five if and when this list is revisited.
For now though, she gets listed as an Honorable Mention—but a tremendous champion all the same.
My other Honorable Mention goes to another three-time champion, Kim Clijsters.
The former No. 1 ranked player in the world captured her first US Open championship in 2005. Coming in as the No. 4 seed, Clijsters overpowered the competition until she reached the quarterfinals.
Once there, the sledding got rough as she first had to outlast Venus Williams in three sets and then had to repeat that feat in the semifinals against the top seed, Maria Sharapova.
In the Final though, Clijsters was magnificent in a straight set thrashing of Mary Pierce, 6-3, 6-1.
Clijsters victory in 2009 was one of the more unlikely runs to the title in US Open history. True, as a former champion her victory cannot be considered a massive upset. But it was unexpected when the strength of the entire field was considered.
Clijsters was unseeded and a wild card entrant into the tournament having come out of a two year retirement to compete. No unseeded and wild card player had ever won the US Open before.
Her unlikely run picked up speed in the second round when she upset No. 14 seed Marion Bartoli in three sets.
In the fourth round, Clijsters would take out the No. 3 seed, Venus Williams, in three back and forth sets. Clijsters won the first set at love only to have Williams return the favor in the second set. In the third set, Clijsters would prevail 6-4 to move on to the quarterfinals.
It was Clijsters semifinal match with the defending champion, Serena Williams that will always be remembered for Serena's multiple meltdowns and code violations. Not that it would have made much difference but Serena's lack of judgment certainly made Clijsters task much easier.
After that, Clijsters had little trouble in dispatching ninth seeded Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3 to capture her second title.
Clijsters third victory, in 2010, was not nearly so dramatic. She was the defending champion and the No. 2 seed this time around. Still, the victory would not come without its share of struggle.
Clijsters was taken to three sets in the quarterfinals by Samantha Stosur. In the semifinals, Clijsters would wage another epic battle against one of the Williams sisters, this time coming from a set down to beat Venus, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Once that was done, Clijsters routed Vera Zvonareva in just an hour, 6-2, 6-1.
Her incredible run to the championship in 2009 was pretty much enough to get her an Honorable Mention.
Her three titles overall made it an even easier choice.