- 11 Sep 2019
On September 11 1999, a rising star of tennis clinched her first grand slam title and, 20 years later, Serena Williams is still going strong.
Williams, aged 17, beat Martina Hingis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows to make a major breakthrough.
Two decades and 23 grand slam titles have passed since then, yet Williams – one triumph shy of equalling Margaret Court’s overall major record hall – is still at the pinnacle of the sport.
The American reached her second slam final of 2019 at Flushing Meadows last week, though it ended in defeat to new kid on the block Bianca Andreescu, who also beat Williams in the Rogers Cup final in August – albeit with her opponent retiring at 3-1 down.
It means Williams has lost her last four appearances in grand slam finals since winning the Australian Open in January 2017, but her ever enduring talent means a record-equalling success should never be discounted.
Here are some of the astonishing numbers of Williams’ career to date.
#OnThisDay in 1999…
Serena Williams won her first grand slam title at the #USOpen beating Martina Hingis 6-3 7-6 (7-4)!
The American great has since won 23 slam trophies! pic.twitter.com/y90tWSpJqv
— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) September 11, 2019
72 – Williams has won 72 WTA singles titles so far. Her first was in Paris in 1999, with her most recent coming in Melbourne in 2017.
33 – The 37-year-old has reached an incredible 33 grand slam singles finals, losing just 10 of those.
5 – Williams has finished the year ranked as world number one five times, in 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
39 – Including 14 in doubles and two in mixed doubles, Williams has won 39 major titles – that is a joint-third total since the Open Era began.
1 – Williams is the only player, male or female, to have completed a Golden Slam in both singles and doubles competitions. As well as triumphing at every slam and the Olympics as a singles competitor, Serena has achieved the same feat alongside sister Venus in doubles.
7 – Williams has seven titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, with six more at the US Open, and three at Roland Garros.
319 – Having spent 319 weeks as world number one, Williams is third behind Martina Navratilova (332) and Steffi Graf (377).
2 – She has held all four grand slam trophies on two occasions – in 2002-03 and 2014-15.
97 – In total, Williams has appeared in 97 singles finals on the WTA circuit.
186 – Williams spent 186 weeks as world number one between February 2013 and September 2016, equal with Graf’s record from August 1987 to March 1991.