Serena Williams has signaled that the U.S. Open that begins later this month could be the end of her storied career. She won her first Grand Slam — the U.S. Open — in 1999, when she was 17 years old, beating the top-seeded Martina Hingis. She went on to become the sport’s most dominant force over the next two decades.


Serena Williams’s world ranking since 1998





Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis

Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.

Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis 1

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.

Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis 2

Williams first rose to No. 1 in July 2002, at age 20. She stayed No. 1 for 49 weeks.

She stayed No.1 for 186 consecutive weeks from Feb. 2013 to Sept. 2016.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and returned to tennis in 2018.

Her ranking fell below 20 in 2006.


Source: Women’s Tennis Association

Over her career, Williams spent 319 weeks ranked as the No. 1 player in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, including 186 consecutive weeks from February 2013 to September 2016. Only Steffi Graf (377) and Martina Navratilova (332) have spent more time as the world’s top-ranked player.

So far, Williams has won 73 singles tournaments, her last coming in January 2020 at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. Her number of tournament wins ranks fifth all-time, although she often played far fewer events than other players, choosing instead to concentrate on Grand Slams.

Williams’s singles career, tournament by tournament

1998

11 events

1999

13 events
5 wins 

2000

11 events
3 wins 

2001

10 events
3 wins 

2002

13 events
8 wins 

2003

7 events
4 wins 

2004

12 events
2 wins 

2005

10 events
1 win 

2006

4 events

2007

12 events
2 wins 

2008

13 events
4 wins 

2009

16 events
3 wins 

2010

6 events
2 wins 

2011

6 events
2 wins 

2012

13 events
7 wins 

2013

16 events
11 wins 

2014

16 events
7 wins 

2015

11 events
5 wins 

2016

8 events
2 wins 

2018

7 events

2019

8 events

2020

6 events
1 win 

2021

6 events

Source: Women’s Tennis Association Note: Table does not include the 2022 Canadian Open, which is currently being played.

Her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, won over the span of 18 years, ranks second in women’s tennis, one short of Margaret Court. Seven came at the Australian Open, three at the French Open, seven at Wimbledon and six at the U.S. Open.


Williams’s Grand Slam tournaments





Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis 3

Did not play

Australian Open

French Open

Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis 4

Did not play

Australian

Open

French

Open

Charts Show Serena Williamss Storied Career In Tennis 5

Did not play

Australian

Open

French

Open


Source: Women’s Tennis Association Note: 2020 Wimbledon was canceled; 2022 U.S. Open is this month.

Williams never won every Slam in the same calendar year, but she held all four major titles at the same time twice, in 2002-03 and in 2014-15 — giving us the term “Serena Slam.”

She won her last Grand Slam singles title, the 2017 Australian Open, at 35, while pregnant with her daughter, Alexis. She and Graf are the only two players in women’s tennis to have won all four Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic singles gold medal.

This year’s U.S. Open, which will likely be Williams’s last, begins Aug. 29.

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