Australian Open Legends – Serena Williams
This week’s Australian Open legend is Serena Williams, the Queen of the Australian Open. She’s got an impressive Australian Open haul; with seven titles, one final and four quarterfinals to her name in 19 appearances. She most famously won in 2017 while being a few weeks pregnant! What a champion! Does that mean little Olympia also has an Australian Open to her name? Additionally, Serena holds four Australian Open doubles titles, all won alongside her big sister Venus.
Coincidentally, Serena’s first Australian Open in 2003 and her last, in 2017, came against her sister. Other notable players she met in her wins included Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport and Dinara Safina.
Most impressive about Serena’s run at the Australian Open all these years is her dominance of the tournament for so long. Her winning form spans 14 years, and multiple generations of players. For example, Justine Henin retired 9 years ago, and Lindsay Davenport retired 12 years ago. As for Maria Sharapova, although she was Serena’s contemporary, she failed to make their overall rivalry interesting.
Let’s take a look at Serena’s top 3 Australian Open finals:
3. 2003 Australian Open:
Serena came in as the number one seed, while Venus as the number two seed. It was almost a given that both sisters would meet in this final. This would be the fourth straight Grand Slam final they would meet in, and fifth Grand Slam final overall. This victory would also make it the fourth straight Grand Slam final win by Serena, thereby cementing her dominance in the rivalry with her sister. Nevertheless, this final had the distinction of being very competitive. It included one tie-break and went to three sets. 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.
2. 2010 Australian Open:
Henin was returning to the tour after an initial 16-month retirement. She was given a Wild Card while Serena was the number one seed. Henin seemed to have picked up right where she left off in 16 months prior, dispatching her side of the draw in clinical fashion. Serena had only been tested by Azarenka in the quarters, going a full three sets. The final would turn out to be a three-set affair, which would crown Serena with her fifth Australian Open. 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
1. 2017 Australian Open:
Serena would come in as the number two seed while sister Venus was the 13th seed. Venus was playing well, and had returned to form, reaching the Wimbledon semis in 2019. There was good buzz about this match. Although Serena would win in straight sets, the match would be competitive and fun to watch. Unfortunately for Serena, this would be the last Grand Slam Serena would win. 6-4, 6-4.
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