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The Evolution Of Serena Williams: The Kid With A Dream And A Racquet 

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Before the Serena show comes to an end just where it began on home turf at the US Open this month, relive all 23 of her grand slam titles.

Serena Williams, the 40-year-old, 23-time grand slam champion, has announced her “evolution” to businesswoman and mum. The R-word is too hard to say and it’s just as hard to hear.

On the eve of her retirement, take a whirlwind tour of all 23 of Serena Williams’ championship wins.

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution, “Williams writes in American Vogue. “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to

“Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution, “Williams writes in American Vogue. “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

The victories have been many, the defeats fewer, and some of those have not been without incident. Her losses to Sam Stosur and Naomi Osaka in US Open finals were mired in emotional outbursts that allowed less fancied opponents to triumph. What might have been.

No one who has played her a fair number of times has a winning record against Williams. Martina Hingis was the closest with a 7-8 record. Justine Henin got the better of her 4-3 in grand slams but not overall. Venus Williams has beaten Serena the most – 12 times. But Serena has won their head-to heads 19 times.

Williams spent 319 weeks in total at No.1 including 186 consecutive weeks from 2013 to 2016. She has won 73 WTA titles, and amassed $US94.5 million in prize money.

The death of her half-sister Yetunde Price in 2003 and the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, in 2017 meant she took extended periods out of the game.

She will play her final grand slam at the US Open later this month. It’s one last chance to equal the record of Australian Margaret Court.

Here is a look back at all of Williams’ grand slam wins.

1999 US Open

Williams, two weeks shy of her 18th birthday, took on world No.1 Martina Hingis in the US Open final after dispatching defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals. Hingis, 18, who already had five grand slam titles, could only watch as Williams blasted 36 winners past her. Despite Hingis saving two match points in the second set, the American triumphed 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

2002 French Open

Serena Williams wins her first French Open in 2002.

2002 US Open

On September 7, 2002, Serena Williams claimed her second US Open title, defeating Venus Williams.

Venus Williams arrived in New York the two-time defending champion but lost to Serena 6-4, 6-3.

A dejected Venus was reported by the Herald to have “wondered when (and maybe whether) she would be able to beat the younger Serena again, saying: ‘Everyone has their year and this is her year and next year could be her year, also.

2003 Wimbledon

Serena Williams wins the Wimbedon title on July 5, 2003, defeating sister Venus in three sets.

The hunter had become the hunted. Despite drop ping the first set Serena prevailed over Venus 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Venus had struggled with abdominal and shin injuries – but hadn’t told her sister.

2005 Australian Open

After the tragedy of her sister Yetunde Price’s death in 2003 and injuries, Serena had missed the defence of her title in 2004 and dropped down the rankings. But a three-set win over the world No.I Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 restored her faith. “It’s been a long way coming back,” said Williams. “I’m almost to my goal.”

2007 Australian Open

Serena Williams at her 2007 success in Melbourne.

After time off for injuries, Serena had ended 2006 ranked No.95. A clinical 6-1, 6-2 rout of Maria Sharapova made Williams the first unseeded win ner since 1978. “Even I didn’t expect to come in and win it all,” she said at the time. She would move up to No. 14 in the world.

2008 US Open

Williams completed her climb back to No.1, for the first time in five years, with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Jelena Jankovic for her third US Open title.

2009 Australian Open

Serena Williams with her Australian Open trophy on January 31, 2009.

Serena Williams’ 6-0, 6-3 defeat of Dinara Safina took less than an hour. “I was just a ball boy on the court today,” Safina said of the 59-minute mis match. Talk of the grand slam emerged quickly.

“I know I can win Wimbledon. I just love playing”

2009 Wimbledon

Win Wimbledon she did, but not before disappointment at Roland Garros, where she had been eliminated by the eventual winner, Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Williams beat her sister Venus 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 for her third Wimbledon title then took aim at the ranking system that kept her at world No.2 behind Safina.

“I think if you hold three grand slam titles maybe you should be No.1 but not on the WTA Tour obviously.

2010 Australian Open

On January 30, 2010, Serena Williams defended her Australian Open title..

It took three sets, but Williams-again the world

No.1-defended her title, this time against Justine

Henin on the comeback trail, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. Williams was presented with her trophy by Margaret Court, and expressed pride in the fact that her 12 grand slam singles titles equalled those of the woman she called her “mentor”, American Billie Jean King. “I feel really special that I was able to tie Billie Jean King because in my heart of hearts, I’ve been going for it and I haven’t been able to quite achieve it. Billie Jean is a really big

2010 Wimbledon

Serena Williams with her winning Wimbledon plate in 2010.

2012 Wimbledon

Open final to Sam Stosur, it would take two years to add to her tally. Her three-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 was her fifth Wimbledon title, and would bring her equal with her sister’s record in London.

Williams was 30, and this was her 14th grand slam title. John McEnroe had seen enough. “I’ve seen them all – Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert was a machine, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf – but I believe we’re watching the greatest fe male player that’s ever played this game,” McEnroe said.

“It’s an elite, exclusive and amazing club that she’s part of. Enjoy it while you can because who knows what can happen in these next couple of years.”

2012 US Open

2013 French Open

Williams cleans up on match point against Maria Sharapova to win the 2013 French Open

It had taken 11 years for Williams to once again triumph in Paris, this time against Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4.

Questions of retirement began to surface for the 31-year-old. “I definitely – I want to go out in my peak,” Williams said after grand slam title No.16. “That’s my goal. But have I peaked yet?”

2013 US Open

 

2014 US Open

 

2015 Australian Open

Williams secured a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win over Maria Sharapova before being presented with her trophy by Martina Navratilova, whose grand slam titles record she had just surpassed.

Talk of the elusive grand slam rose again.

2015 French Open

It took more than two hours for Williams to topple Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros after leading 6-3 4-1. “I would never have expected at this time in my career to win three grand slams in a row and no matter what happens at Wimbledon this, for me, is unbeliev able,” she said.

2015 Wimbledon

The calendar grand slam wasn’t to be, though, as she was eliminated in the semi-finals at the US Open by Karolina Pliskova.

2016 Wimbledon

A 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Angelique Kerber earned Williams a place alongside Steffi Graf with 22 major Grand Slams. Talk of Williams reaching Margaret Court’s record of 24 began in earnest. Once considered im possible, Williams still had the time and the inclination.

“It doesn’t get boring. As long as I’m winning, it doesn’t get boring,” the 34-year-old said.

2017 Australian Open

We wouldn’t learn until a few months later that Serena Williams had played the Australian Open pregnant, defeating her sister Venus 6-4, 6-4, for her 23rd grand slam title.

2017 Australian Open

Serena Williams, right, with sister Venus, after beating her in the 2017 Australian Open final.

We wouldn’t learn until a few months later that Serena Williams had played the Australian Open pregnant, defeating her sister Venus 6-4, 6-4, for her 23rd grand slam title.

“I would really like to take this moment to congratulate Venus. She is an amazing person,” Serena said. “There is no way I would be at 23 without her. There is no way I would be at one without her.

“She is my inspiration, she is the only reason I am standing here today.”

By Monday, she would be world No.1 again.

She announced her pregnancy that April, and told a TED Talk she had every intention of returning to the tour. “I’m not done yet,” Williams said. “My story isn’t over.”

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