An astonishing 11 women commenced their AO2019 campaigns with the opportunity to seize the world No.1 ranking – but only one, Serena Williams, could achieve history with an all-time record-equalling 24 Grand Slam titles.
With a gruelling three-set victory over world No.1 Simona Halep on Monday, Serena sent a powerful reminder of her lofty position among the game’s greatest. Now comes the opportunity for Williams to add to it as she faces Karolina Pliskova in her 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal.
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It’s a record that began building 21 years ago, Serena playing her first Grand Slam event as a 16-year-old at AO1998. She lifted her first major trophy at the US Open, age 17, in 1999.
Some two decades and a further 22 Grand Slam titles later, epic numbers are not even what’s most remarkable about Williams’ time on tour. Rather, it’s the hunger to add more to her history as a 37-year-old mother that still defines her superstar status.