Serena Williams has again grabbed next to a 24th grand slam title. Again a missed opportunity for the 37-year-old American in her hunt for (the equalization of) the record of Margaret Court. An overview of Serena’s 23 grand slam titles and the times when it went wrong to level with Court.
1. US Open 1999: A 17-year-old Serena Williams plays her first grand slam finale. She wins the then number one Martina Hingis in two sets: 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). This makes her the first African-American woman in the Open Era (from 1969) to win a grand slam.
2. Roland Garros 2002: Only two years later does she win her second grand slam. Serena beats her sister Venus 7-5, 6-3. She loses the first grand slam final between the Williams sisters, the US Open in 2001, 6-2, 6-4.
3. Wimbledon 2002: Serena wins her third grand lamb a month later in Wimbledon. Again she beats her older sister. This time she wins 7-6 (7/4), 6-3. Serena is now also the new number one in the world.
4. US Open 2002: Her second triumph at the US Open. Again she meets Venus in the final. Serena takes the lead and wins 6-4, 6-3.
5. Australian Open 2003: The Williams sisters face each other in four consecutive grand slam finals. Serena wins again and with her triumph in Australia, she has won all grand slams at least once. She scores 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4 from Venus.
6. Wimbledon 2003: At Roland Garros 2003, Serena once again knows what it is like to be in a grand slam finale. She is back in Wimbledon and wins again from her sister in three sets: 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. It is her second title on the holy grass.
7. Australian Open 2005: For almost two years she has to do without a grand slam, but in 2005 she takes her second title at the Australian Open. In the final, she beats Lindsay Davenport with 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
8. Australian Open 2007: Exactly two years later, she won her eighth grand slam and third Australian Open by crushing Maria Sharapova in the final with 6-1, 6-2. Earlier, the Russian pulled the longest end in their previous confrontation in a grand slam final at Wimbledon in 2004.
9. US Open 2008: Serena wins a third time for its own people by beating the Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the final with 6-4, 7-5.
10. Australian Open 2009: Serena launches its fourth Australian Open. She beats the Russian Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3.
11. Wimbledon 2009: For the third time she triumphs at the All England Club by beating Venus in the final with 7-6 (7/3), 6-2. All her titles at Wimbledon she used to take against her sister.
12. Australian Open 2010: Serena wins its fifth title Down Under by setting aside Justine Henin in three sets: 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. It will be the first and – for the time being – the last time that she meets a Belgian opponent in a grand slam finale.
13. Wimbledon 2010: For her fourth title at Wimbledon, she doesn’t have to pass her sister in the final for a change. Serena beats Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2.
14. Wimbledon 2012: The fifth title in London after two years without a grand slam. In the final, she is stronger than the Polish Agnieszka Radwanska. She wins in three sets with 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
15. US Open 2012: For four years she has to wait for the fourth title for her home crowd, but then it’s bingo. Serena makes it to the final against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
16. Roland Garros 2013: Her second title on Roland Garros follows eleven years after her first triumph on the Paris clay court. Serena beats Maria Sharapova in the final with 6-4, 6-4.
17. US Open 2013: A year after her fourth triumph in New York, she also wins a fifth time there. Again she is in the final at Azarenka, again she is stronger in a three-seater. Serena wins 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1.
18. US Open 2014: A third win in a row and a sixth in total in The Big Apple. Serena beats Danish Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
19. Australian Open 2015: Her sixth victory in Melbourne. For the third time, she beats Sharapova in a big slam finale. It became 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).
20. Roland Garros 2015: Serena can cheer a third time in Paris. In the final, she wins against Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2.
21. Wimbledon 2015: After three years she can celebrate a new title at Wimbledon, her sixth already. Serena beats the Spanish Garbine Muguruza with 6-4, 6-4. For the second time in her career, she wins the four grand slams in a row.
22. Wimbledon 2016: The seventh triumph in England and the 22nd total after a year without a grand slam. In the final, Serena beats the German Angelique Kerber with 7-5, 6-3.
23. Australian Open 2017: Serena wins her 23rd Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open a seventh time. In the final, she meets Roland Garros 2009 and her sister Venus for the first time. The ninth time that the two face each other in a grand slam finale. Serena wins 6-4, 6-4. She now comes on just one title from the Australian Margaret Court record.
These chances of equalizing the record were already missing:
Wimbledon 2018: Serena bites the German Angelique Kerber in the sand with 6-3, 6-3. Previously, Kerber beat her in the final of the Australian Open in 2016, when she grabbed her first grand slam.
US Open 2018: In a memorable final against Japanese Naomi Osaka, Serena loses her self-control. After fierce discussions with the umpire, she even gets a punishment where she has to hand in a game. Osaka’s first grand lamb – she wins 6-2, 6-4 – will be remembered for other reasons…
Wimbledon 2019: For the third time, Serena has the chance to match Margaret Court’s grand slam record. Once again it does not work: Romanian Simona Halep shows her supreme in the final at Wimbledon and wins with speaking 6-2, 6-2 figures.