Serena Williams Served Her Way To 13th Grand Slam Title... And Counting
It's been more than a decade since Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title at 1999 US Open defeating former world No.1 Martina Hingis, in the battle of the youngsters. Then, from 2001 US Open to 2003 Wimbledon, she and her sister Venus Williams contested each other at the Grand Slam finals, with Serena edging Venus 5-1. Since then, they met in the Grand Slam finals twice, 2008 and 2009 Wimbledon having split results.
Overall, they contested at Grand Slam finals eight times with Serena leading Venus 6-2, their current head-to-head record is 13-10 in Serena's favor. Serena dominated Venus from 2009 Wimbledon through 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships.
So, how dominant Serena on women's tour?
Well, Serena has played in 16 Grand Slam finals, winning 13 of them, the recent is the 2010 Wimbledon finals, an astonishing 0.8125 success rating. That implies that Serena rarely lost when she reached the final at a Grand Slam event.
To whom she lost the three Grand Slam finals?
Of course, none other than to her sister Venus, twice - one at 2001 US Open and one at 2008 Wimbledon, and the other to Maria Sharapova at 2004 Wimbledon.
On those 16 Grand Slam finals, Serena faced eight different opponents: five of them are Grand Slam champions - Martina Hingis (1), Venus Williams (8), Maria Sharapova (2), Lindsay Davenport (1), and Justine Henin (1), two of them are first time Grand Slam finalists - Jelena Jankovic (1) and Vera Zvonareva (1), and the other is three-time Grand Slam finalist - Dinara Safina (1). Of these eight opponents, the Russians suffered their lopsided loss.
Who would ever thought that in her generation only one player have a split head-to-head record against Serena? Yes, only one, Jelena Jankovic with 4-4. Though, she and the 22 Grand Slam holder Steffi Graf met twice, tied at 1-1, but Graf's career ended in 1999 where Serena is starting to break through.
The road to her 13th Grand Slam title is not as easy as ABC. Serena has been sidelined in 2005-2006 and being ranked No.95. But she bounced back by winning 2007 Australian Open with a few more tournaments entered, she saw herself back at the top 10 and never looked back. Bouncing back to place where she should be has been easy for Serena and after winning 2009 Australian Open she reclaimed the top ranking over Safina.
It has been ups and downs for most her contemporaries but for Serena, it is a continues climbing to the top. Till she reached the top, Serena confirmed that she's the dominant force of women's tennis. She has been strong as before. Even after sidelined due to injuries, she can bring her A-game.
With her serve as powerful as ever, she seemed unstoppable. That is, witnessed in her recent performances at the recently concluded Wimbledon finals over Zvonareva. She has been tested in every first set of her matches against Sharapova in the fourth round, Li Na in the quarterfinals, and even Petra Kvitova in the semifinals, but all of them end up losing.
Simply because her opponents failed to capitalize every minute of opportunities they had against Serena. Yes, Serena showed nerves but once she leads she never looked back the remaining games was just a formality. In the end, she held her fourth Wimbledon trophy, her 13th Grand Slam overall.
Her 13th Grand Slam title is sixth overall surpassing Billie Jean King with 12. And considering her recent performances at Wimbledon, she is predicted that she can tie or even surpass Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, both with 18.
Having said that, Serena will be going at the Flushing Meadows as the favorite for the title over defending champion Kim Clijsters. Given she leads more or less 2000 points over Jankovic, Wozniacki, and her sister Venus, it is most likely she will end the year ranked No.1 for the second consecutive years, her third time overall.
Will she saw herself ending up with 25 Grand Slam title over the course of her career? Only time can tell.
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