Serena wants to put the US Open controversy behind her:
Wednesday marks a very special day in the tennis world as one of the game’s greatest legends, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams turns 37 years old.
And though she won’t be adding to that Grand Slam tally in 2018 or playing any more events until 2019, this year has been incredible in many ways for Serena. She’s not only the highest-ranked mother on tour at the moment, currently sitting at No. 16 in the world, but she also reached the 30th and 31st Grand Slam finals of her career at Wimbledon (falling to Angelique Kerber) and the US Open (losing to Naomi Osaka).
She’s now tied with Steffi Graf for third-most Grand Slam finals reached in the Open Era, male or female (Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova lead with 34 and 32 Grand Slam finals, respectively).
There are some very big records Serena could break as a 37-year-old in 2019:
She can become the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era, male or female.
As of now, Ken Rosewall is the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era, male or female. The Australian won the last of his eight Grand Slam titles at the 1972 Australian Open when he was 37 years and 62 days old. With the next Grand Slam more than 62 days away, Serena would break that longstanding record if she wins any of the four Grand Slams in 2019 (or beyond).
She can become the oldest player ever to reach No. 1, male or female.
Serena has the all-time record for oldest woman to reach No. 1, last holding it when she was 35 in 2016, but Roger Federer got back to No.1 as a 36-year-old this year on the men’s tour, one-upping Serena’s record. If Serena can get back to that top spot anytime in the future, she’ll set a new record.
And then, of course, there’s the big one…
Serena’s one away from tying Margaret Court’s all-time record for most career Grand Slam titles, male or female (Serena’s at 23, Court’s at 24). Two more and Serena will break Court’s record.
And at the US Open this year, Serena made it clear she’s not going anywhere.
“This is just the beginning of my return,” she said after reaching the final. “I’m still on the way up. There’s still much more that I plan on doing. You don’t reach your best a couple months in.
“I feel like there’s a lot of growth still to go in my game. That’s the most exciting part.”