Williams is an American professional tennis player current playing in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She is currently ranked No. 1 in women’s singles tennis, a feat that she achieved on six separate occasions. She first became world No. 1 on July 8, 2002 and stayed first for 57 weeks until Kim Clijsters of Belgium took over on August 11, 2003. He reclaimed it on September 8, 2008 and relinquished it to Serbia’s Jelena Janković after a short four weeks.
She reclaimed it again on February 2, 2009 and had a see-saw battle with Russia’s Dinara Safina for the top ranking.
She got the top ranking again for the fourth time on October 12, 2009, ending Safina’a 25-week reign, only to hand it over to Safina on October 26, 2009 after a short two-week reign. As it turned out, Safina’s rule, just seven days this time, is even shorter as Williams would become top-ranked for the fifth time on November 2, 2009. She would dominate the field for a longer 49 weeks until Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki took over on Oct 11, 2010.
Williams showed she is not yet done as she ascended back on top for the sixth time on February 18, 2013. She was 31 years and 4 months old at the time she got the ranking for the sixth time, making her the oldest No. 1 player in the WTA’s history, a record that continues to grow as she is still to relinquish this lofty rank.
To date, she holds 21 grand slam titles including wins in this year’s Australian, French, Wimbledon Opens. This total is only third to Margaret Court’s 24 all-time and only second to Steffi Graf’s 22 during the open era. And it is not far fetch idea that by the time she will retire, she would already be ahead of these two.
Her 21 victories are well spread-out with utmost consistency in every tournament, six each of the US, Wimbledon, and Australian Opens, and three French Opens. She won the Australian Open held on 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2015. Her French Open victories came during 2002, 2013 and 2015. Her Wimbledon trophies were from the 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2015 stagings while her US Open titles were achieved during 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014. She is the only tennis athlete, male or female, to win three grandslam tournaments at least six times.
A win in her hometown’s Open later this year would complete a rare calendar Grand Slam, a feat that only Court (1970) and Graf (1988) achieved in the past.
Before Williams got her current success, she was once known for just being Venus’ sister and the court’s jester.
Venus, Williams’ older sister, was earlier seen as the more successful of the two. Proof of it was her six grandslam titles in just three years (2000-2002). It turned out that Venus does not have the lasting ability that Serena has. Venus could just muster only four more slam titles to date.
Also, earlier in her career, Williams was taken for a clown due to her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, black catsuit at the US Open. At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots. At Wimbledon in 2008, she wore a trench coat during warm-up for her opening match despite the scorching sunny weather.
However, once Serena got the cobwebs and distractions out of her mind, she morphed into the greatest female tennis star of all-time in the eyes of many.