By: Brendan Moore
Many arguments have risen around who qualifies as the GOAT of professional tennis. Several players may come to mind, but only one player really stands out: Serena Williams. After multiple months off the tennis tour, Williams finished her accolade-filled career at the 2022 US Open.
Williams began her professional tennis career at the age of 14 in 1994 following her older sister Venus. From there, she exploded onto the scene. In 1999, she claimed her first Grand Slam singles title by winning the 1999 US Open, and did not stop there. Throughout her career, she won 367 matches and 23 Grand Slam singles titles — second to Margaret Court all time — and she is fifth all time with 73 singles titles on the womens’ side. Williams’s resumé strengthens with her wins of each of the four Grand Slam Championships. Not only has she achieved success on the global stage of tennis, but also in the Olympic Games. She has four gold medals, winning singles in 2008 and doubles in 2000, 2008, and 2012 while being paired with her sister. Her dominance continues to the WTA National Rankings where she is among the top in weeks at world No. 1 with 319 weeks. Along with 186 straight weeks at No. 1. That streak is tied for the most consecutive weeks at world No. 1 all-time.
Not only has Williams been a dominant figure on the court, but an inspirational one as well. She was the driving force for many athletes around the world, especially for African-Americans. Professional tennis player Naomi Osaka, who is of African-American and Asian descent, spoke on Williams’s legacy when stating, “Like, she changed the sport so much. She’s introduced people that have never heard of tennis into the sport. I think I’m a product of what she’s done.” This is one of many examples of how Williams has changed the sport of tennis. Even after her retirement comes, Williams’s legacy will continue to inspire and be a growing force in the world of sports and tennis.
Williams entered the 2022 US Open with six US Open singles Championships and seeking her seventh. She opened the tournament facing Danka Kovinic of Montenegro. Williams advanced with ease winning 6-3 in the first set and 6-3 again in the second set. Williams faced a tough challenge by the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the second round. Both players went back and forth, but Williams pulled out a well-earned victory in a 3-set match. Gaining momentum and heading into the third round as the crowd favorite, Williams was set to square off against Australian Alja Tomljanovic. At the conclusion of the match, Tomljanovic defeated Williams, possibly ending the GOAT’s tennis career.
When asked if she would ever play again after her loss, Williams stated, “I don’t think so, but you never know.” This leaves one question in the minds of tennis fans all across the globe, will we ever see the GOAT step onto the courts again?
(Sources: Britannica, ESPN, US Open)
Categories: National Sports
Leave a Reply