The current World Number One won her first major at the 1999 US Open, when she was only 17 years old. Now, aged 35, she has won 7 Australian Open titles, 3 French Open titles, 7 Wimbledon titles, and 6 US Open titles, bringing her Grand Slam titles total to 23. This number sets a record for most Grand Slams won in the Open Era, and the second most of all-time.
Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 in the 2017 Australian Open final, to claim his 5th Australian Open, 18th grand slam and 89th career title. Federer is the first man in history to win at least 5 titles at 3 different majors, the oldest men’s singles player to win a major in 45 years, and the lowest ranked seed to win the Australian Open in 15 years. This marks his first time beating Nadal in a major in almost 10 years, since Wimbledon 2007 and his first grand slam title in almost 5 years, since Wimbledon 2012. Congratulations, Roger.
Althea Gibson was a trailblazing professional tennis player and pro-golfer in the 50’s and 60s. She was the first Black person and person of color to win a Grand Slam title when she won the French Open. She was also the first Black woman to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, a feat she accomplished two years in a row. Gibson won 11 Grand Slam Titles overall and has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
There’s one title Venus Williams cherishes more than all others.
It’s not the one you might think.
“Role model, definitely,” Williams told USA TODAY Sports. “Tennis is limited. … Being a role model transcends.”
Seven Grand Slam titles, the Olympic gold medal and world No. 1 – she’s done it all in a career that has stretched into its third decade. The power and athleticism with which she and sister Serena play transformed the game.
Yet for all of that, Venus Williams’ greatest impact has come off the court. There is equal prize money at Wimbledon largely because of her. She was the driving force in the WTA’s partnership with UNESCO that promotes gender equality.
“I’ve had people put me down because I didn’t look like them — I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because of the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I had critics say I will never win another Grand Slam when I was only at #7 and now here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles and I’m still going.”
Roger Federer of Switzerland poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the Men’s Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. He has now won 18 Grand Slam titles
It’s hard to realise the enormity of history when we’re in the moment when it’s happening, but there was a neat little twist to Serena Williams’ record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title of the Open era. For the presentation ceremony, she donned some specially-made shoes with a big number – 23 – on them made by her clothing supplier. But the shoes aren’t new – they were made five months ago in expectation that the younger Williams would win her 23rd major at the US Open. She seemed a shoo-in to break Steffi Graf’s record of 22 at Flushing Meadows, but lost to Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. “Those shoes have a lot of air miles on them, they’re like platinum members,” she said. “They flew all the way to the [US] Open and all the way here. I had no idea it was happening, so I guess they’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.”
Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked her world No. 1 in singles on seven occasions, from 2002 to 2017. She is the only tennis player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two of the four Majors seven times each (7 Wimbledon titles and 7 Australian Open titles). Williams is also the only tennis player to have won ten Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt. She also holds an all-time record for the most singles matches won at the Grand Slams (man or woman) with 316 matches (through the 2017 Australian Open). Serena has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles—an all-time record shared with her sister, Venus. She has won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award three times (2003, 2010, 2016), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. Williams’ accomplishments and success in professional tennis have led some commentators, players, and sports writers to regard her as the greatest female tennis player of all time.