US Open: Serena's final farewell? The remarkable stats, facts and figures that highlight Williams' legacy

By Sports Desk September 03, 2022

Serena Williams' long and illustrious tennis career looks to have drawn to a close after the American lost to Ajla Tomljanovic at the US Open on Friday. 

Following a long piece in Vogue last month, Williams wrote of her plan to "move in a different direction" after "these next few weeks", suggesting the tournament at Flushing Meadows would be her last outing.

Thanks to her success and brilliance on the court, Williams has become synonymous with tennis and is regarded by many as the greatest the women's sport has ever seen.

At the age of 40, Williams has persisted with tennis far longer than most do, and that is testament to her quality and enduring desire for success.

Though Williams left a glimmer of a chance that she may yet play again, joking that she "always did love Australia", she may well have taken to the court for the last time. Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the key facts, stats and figures of her career; in other words, Serena's remarkable legacy.

Twenty-three… and done?

Of course, the headline fact for Williams' career is her grand slam titles count.

She has won 23, which is more than anyone else in the Open era.

But she still had one target left: matching Margaret Court. The Australian's 24 grand slam successes include nine won before the Open era began in 1968, though her overall total has been the benchmark ever since she claimed her final crown at the US Open in 1975.

Clearly, victory for Williams at Flushing Meadows would have been the perfect farewell, but it was not to be. Will that near-miss encourage her to take one more shot in Court's homeland next year?

 

The finals hurdle

Had Williams managed to reach the championship match in Queens, she would have equalled another record.

She headed into the US Open having played in 33 grand slam finals, one more than Martina Navratilova.

But Chris Evert (34) sits out in front, and that record is now set to remain hers for many, many years.

Top of the pile

It's been a while now since Williams was last the highest-ranked player in the world, but in a way that only further highlights how remarkable her career has been.

She's spent 319 weeks ranked as world number one, which is behind only Steffi Graf (377) and Navratilova (332).

While many might have expected Williams to have been top of the pile for even longer, it's worth remembering how she's spent time out due to injuries and pregnancy, with her general involvement in top-level tennis decreasing after 2014 when she played 16 tournaments – in 2016 that halved to eight, and during no year since has she played in more.

Additionally, some will also be surprised to learn she actually only finished the year as the top-ranked female player five times. Nevertheless, that's still third to only Graf (eight) and Navratilova (seven).

Go hard or go home

Such has been Williams' quality, she was always considered a threat regardless of the surface – she's won each grand slam at least three times.

But there's no denying she was at her most lethal on hard courts.

She has won 48 WTA Tour-level titles on hard courts, which is 11 more than anyone else (Graf) in the Open era.

Those 48 come from a grand total of 73 across all surfaces, leaving her ranked fifth behind Navratilova (167), Evert (157), Graf (107) and Court (92).

 

Surface to say…

Williams' comfort on hard courts goes even further than that.

She's won 541 matches on the surface, making her one of just two female players to surpass 500 victories on one specific ground type.

Navratilova (600 on carpet) is the only other player to achieve the feat, with Serena's sister Venus (498 on hard) the closest to the 23-time grand slam champion.

The grass is greener

Despite that unrivalled excellence, hard courts may not be the surface many feel to be most synonymous with Williams, however.

Wimbledon is the tournament that would appear to be her favourite.

She's reached the final at SW19 11 times. Only Navratilova can better that record for the most finals at one tournament – though it's worth saying she contested the WTA Finals and Chicago 14 times each, Eastbourne 13 times and 12 at Wimbledon.

Related items

  • Sinner reaches maiden grass final, will face Hurkacz as Zverev crashes out Sinner reaches maiden grass final, will face Hurkacz as Zverev crashes out

    Jannik Sinner will face Hubert Hurkacz in his first ATP Tour-level grass final after overcoming Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the last four at the Halle Open.

    The world number one entered Saturday's clash with Zhang, ranked 42nd in the world, on a 35-match winning streak against players outside the ATP's top 20.

    There was to be no upset in North Rhine-Westphalia, though Zhang pushed him close in a match that featured just one break – Sinner doing the honours in the ninth game of the opening set.

    Zhang failed to convert the lone break point generated in the second set as both players served confidently, the Chinese number one winning 79% of first-serve points to Sinner's 75%.

    However, the Italian's quality shone through in the tie-break, the Australian Open champion converting his third match point to advance. 

    Hurkacz will be his final opponent after he pulled off an upset of Zverev earlier on Saturday, the fifth-seeded Pole producing a big-serving display in a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win.

    Sinner and Hurkacz played doubles together earlier this week, saving two match points in a thrilling win over Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow before going out to French duo Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul the following day.

    Data Debrief: Sinner matches Federer and Medvedev

    Sinner will have a chance to capture his first title on grass on Sunday, which would represent the best possible preparation for a tilt at Wimbledon.

    He is just the third player to reach the Halle Open final while top of the world rankings, after Roger Federer (in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2018) and Daniil Medvedev (2022).

  • Murray set for back surgery in bid to be fit for Wimbledon swansong Murray set for back surgery in bid to be fit for Wimbledon swansong

    Andy Murray will undergo back surgery in an attempt to be fit for what will be his final appearance at Wimbledon, which begins in nine days. 

    The two-time competition winner was forced to retire from his second-round match at the Queen's Championships against Jordan Thompson after just five games. 

    It was later revealed by the 37-year-old that he had been suffering with back pain which eventually spread to his right leg, forcing him to withdraw from the competition. 

    The two-time Olympic gold medallist is set to call time on his illustrious career later this year, with Wimbledon and the Paris games described as a fitting end to his 20-year spell on the court by Murray. 

    But the former world number one faces a race against time to fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 1, where he is also set to feature in the men's doubles with his older brother, Jamie. 

    “He saw a specialist yesterday evening and he’s basically trying to decide what his next move is," his brother told BBC Two on Friday. 

    "I don’t think it’s right for me to go into that personally, that’s up to him, but I think he has got a few decisions to make.

    "It’s obviously incredibly disappointing for him that this was potentially going to be his last Queen’s, last Wimbledon and Olympics, and there’s a potential that that might not be able to happen.

    "I think he’s got to make a few decisions, and see where he goes from there.”

  • Draper's dream run ended at Queen's by Paul Draper's dream run ended at Queen's by Paul

    Jack Draper's dream run at the Queen's Club Championships was halted at the quarter-final stage on Friday as Tommy Paul edged a hard-fought contest in three sets.

    Having claimed his maiden ATP Tour title in Stuttgart last week, Draper made it seven straight victories with a huge upset of world number two Carlos Alcaraz on Thursday.

    However, he could not extend that winning streak as Paul attacked his serve on every opportunity, hitting several excellent groundstrokes as he took the opener.

    Draper hit back in the second set, a long forehand seeing him convert his second set point.

    However, the new British number one appeared fatigued in the decider, his exertions against Alcaraz taking a toll as Paul kicked on, breaking to love in the seventh game and seeing out a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory.

    Data Debrief: Draper falls short

    Playing in his second Queen's quarter-final, Draper could have become the first home player to reach the last four since Cameron Norrie in 2021.

    He was unable to stay the course against a fresher opponent, though, as fifth seed Paul improved to 25-10 for the season, reaching his second tour-level semi-final on grass.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.