It’s often been said that tennis is the sport of the young, and that tennis stars tend to start fading when they hit their thirties. Even Serena Williams was for a time skeptical about herself still playing competitively upon reaching that milestone. As it turns out she did get to play past that limit, and extremely well too. By the time of the 2016 US Open, she has made history.
As Tennis.com tells it by way of the Associated Press, Serena has won the greatest number of matches throughout the Grand Slam tournaments. With her curb-stomp victory over Yaroslava Shvedova (6-2, 6-3) in the US Open Round 4 just this Monday September 5, the 34-year old tennis diva has finally clocked 308 Grand Slam wins, beating the record of her contemporary from Switzerland, 35- year old Roger Federer.
Asked whether she plans on staying in the competitive circuit after her crowning achievement, Serena did not hesitate to say she does. "I know I plan on it. I know he does. So we'll see," she remarked, referring to Federer.
It’s been a long road indeed from when 16-year old Serena, following in the footsteps of older sister Venus Williams, scored her first ever Grand Slam victory over Irina Spirlea (6-7 [5-7], 6-3, 6-1) in the 1998 Australian Open, on the first round to boot. She quickly tasted her first major defeat immediately afterwards in her next match which was against her sister. A whirlwind of 20 years’ worth of wins and losses, of titles won and health issues confronted, has not slowed Serena down, even as her 35 th birthday looms this September 26.
"I definitely never thought I would be playing still,"; Williams said, as she and 36-year old Venus have remained in the sport even as many of their diva contemporaries like Martina Hingis have hung up the racket. She commented further that she’s just enjoying playing tennis so much that she can’t ever imagine herself stopping.
To compare the younger Williams’ Majors performance against Federer, she stands at 308 wins to 42 losses (88%) against his record of 307 wins to 51 losses (85.8%). Her victories can be divided into 88 US Open wins, 86 Wimbledon, 74 Australian Open and 60 French Open. She’ll get more chances to up her tally this US Open as the Swiss had opted to sit it out while strengthening his surgically repaired right knee by hiking in the countryside of his home, as chronicled on his Twitter account.
Right now the last Grand Slam tournament of the year is still on, and Serena is intent on winning the title in order to surpass another record: that of most Grand Slam singles titles won ever since the Open era started in 1968. She’s already tied with Steffi Graf at 22 each.
Photo Credit to Mic.com