Serena Williams has done it all in tennis, but there’s so much more to come for the 33-year-old American. She’s won four Wimbledon championships; a pair of US Open titles (2009 and 2011) and two Olympic gold medals (in 2004 and 2008). Now, she’ll take on the very best female players in the world in a Grand Slam, including the five-time defending champion, Serena’s friend Steffi Graf. There’s a lot at stake.
“The goal is to win the Grand Slam, and I believe I’m ready to win it,” Williams said. “If I think I’m not, we’ll have a serious discussion.”
The last time Americans went head to head in a Grand Slam event, they were just 20 years old.
It was 2009, Williams was ranked fifth, and she went toe-to-toe with Caroline Wozniacki. The five-time Wimbledon champion had won the Grand Slam three times before, but Williams was on a different level then. She was 22 and ranked ninth in the world.
In the end, Williams’ nerves were too much for the top seed. Before the fifth set was out, Williams had dropped the opening set, and Wozniacki closed out the match in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. The final in September was, naturally, a rematch of that 2009 final, with Williams again facing Wozniacki.
“I thought I had the game in (Wozniacki’s) hands, and I got a couple points I would have liked to have. I thought that I had control of the match,” she said. “She had great games in the third and fourth, and I think that she kind of took over. All I needed was a couple matches or a few points to make up my mind. She probably had too big of a heart to have given up at the end of the year.