Serena Williams retires: Listing the former World No. 1's five most memorable Grand Slam finals

Published on Aug 10, 2022 08:31 PM IST

As one of the most decorated careers in tennis enters its swansong, we take a look at five of the most stunning and career-defining matches from Serena Williams' career.

Serena Williams has announced her retirement from tennis. (Getty)
Serena Williams has announced her retirement from tennis. (Getty)
ByAdarsh Kumar Gupta, New Delhi

Yesterday marked the end of an era as one of the greatest female sportstars of all time, Serena Williams announced that she will retire after the US Open. Serena, winner of a record 23 Grand Slam titles in her career, leaves a legacy unparalleled. During her career, Serena battled injury, won four Olympic gold medals, became the World No.1 for the longest time ever, saw the birth of her first child and made a stunning return.

Off the court, Serena got featured in Forbes’ list of America’s richest self-made women and garnered a manic fan following. With the announcement of her retirement, hopes of Serena equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam wins have diminished as lack of form and match practice will make it highly unlikely for her to win the US Open Crown. Having said that, it is not something Serena's career will be remembered for. She has established herself as a GOAT in tennis and will go out as one with a final hoorah. As one of the most decorated careers in tennis enters its swansong, we take a look at five of the most stunning and career-defining matches from Serena's career.

1999 US Open final against Martina Hingis

Serena was just 17 when she was up against the-then world No.1 Martina Hingis in the final of US Open 1999. During her road to the final, Serena had surpassed four Grand Slam champions. In the quarterfinals, she had beaten compatriot Monica Seles, who was seeded fourth and then prevailed over second seed Lindsay Davenport in the semis. In the summit clash, seventh-seeded Serena outclassed Hingis, winning her first Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory. With the win, Serena became the first African-American woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to win a major singles title.

2002 Wimbledon final against Venus Williams

In the final of Wimbledon 2002, sisters Serena and Venus Williams faced clashed for the most prestigious title in tennis. While Venus was seeded one, Serena was second but her dominance was such that Serena won in straight sets 7–6(4), 6–3 and captured her maiden Wimbledon singles title. The ruthlessness that Serena exhibited over her opponents in the tournament could be estimated by the fact that she didn't lose a single set against anyone and became world's No. 1 player in women's singles for the first time.

2007 Australian Open against Maria Sharapova

Serena entered the 2007 Australian Open unseeded and ranked a lowly 81 in the world. She had not won a grand slam title since 2005 and her critics had drawn out the swords against her. But like they say "big players deliver when it matters the most." Serena fumbled a bit in the quarterfinal against Israel's Shahar Peer, losing the first set 3-6 but then bounced back in style to win 6-2, 8-6 to stormed into the semi-final. There, she prevailed over 10th seed Nicole Vaidisova and won 7-6(5), 6-4 in a hard-fought match. In the final, she was up against number one seed Russia's Maria Sharapova who was in great form and looking for a repeat win over Serena form the 2004 Wimbledon final. However, the American star had other plans, and in rather a dominating display of skill and power, routed Sharapova in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 to win the Australian Open. It was Serena's eighth Grand Slam singles title and third Australian Open title. What a way to end your title drought.

2013 French Open final against Maria Sharapova

The epic rivalry between Serena and Sharapova had already become a global phenomenon by 2013. Both were at the prime of their careers and the stakes had risen as the two superstars met each other one more time with the French Open title on the line. Serena's first French Open title had come way back in 2002 and after 11 long years, she was on the verge of creating history again. The only roadblock – the in-form Sharapova. A match that was billed one of the most even-sided contests, ended up being a one-way traffic as high on confidence, Serena hammered defending champion Sharapova in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. It was a statement victory over Sharapova that made Serena first-page news.

2015 Wimbledon final vs Garbine Muguruza

In the 2015 Wimbledon final, Serena she faced off against Spain's 21-year-old Garbine Muguruza who was the first Spanish woman to advance to the Wimbledon final since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1996. Serena overcame a stiff challenge from Muguruza and won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. It was Serena's 21st grand slam title and with it, she also completed her second career Serena Slam (winning Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US open consecutively in different calendar years).

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