Sports

Charts Show Serena Williams’s Storied Career in Tennis


Serena Williams has signaled that the U.S. Open that begins later this month could be the end of her storied career. She won her first Grand Slam — the U.S. Open — in 1999, when she was 17 years old, beating the top-seeded Martina Hingis. She went on to become the sport’s most dominant force over the next two decades.


Serena Williams’s world ranking since 1998





Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.

Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.


Source: Women’s Tennis Association

Over her career, Williams spent 319 weeks ranked as the No. 1 player in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, including 186 consecutive weeks from February 2013 to September 2016. Only Steffi Graf (377) and Martina Navratilova (332) have spent more time as the world’s top-ranked player.

So far, Williams has won 73 singles tournaments, her last coming in January 2020 at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. Her number of tournament wins ranks fifth all-time, although she often played far fewer events than other players, choosing instead to concentrate on Grand Slams.

Williams’s singles career, tournament by tournament

Source: Women’s Tennis Association

Note: Table does not include the 2022 Canadian Open, which is currently being played.

Her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, won over the span of 18 years, ranks second in women’s tennis, one short of Margaret Court. Seven came at the Australian Open, three at the French Open, seven at Wimbledon and six at the U.S. Open.


Williams’s Grand Slam tournaments

Source: Women’s Tennis Association

Note: 2020 Wimbledon was canceled.

Williams never won every Slam in the same calendar year, but she held all four major titles at the same time twice, in 2002-03 and in 2014-15 — giving us the term “Serena Slam.”

She won her last Grand Slam singles title, the 2017 Australian Open, at 35, while pregnant with her daughter, Alexis. She and Graf are the only two players in women’s tennis to have won all four Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic singles gold medal.

This year’s U.S. Open, which will likely be Williams’s last, begins Aug. 29.



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