On July 5th, 1998—exactly 25 years ago to this day—one of the biggest legends in tennis history, Serena Williams, won her first Grand Slam title of any kind, capturing the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon alongside Max Mirnyi.
They defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and Mirjana Lucic in the final, 6-4, 6-4, after Bhupathi and Lucic had taken out Venus Williams and Justin Gimelstob—who had won the first two Grand Slams of the year at the Australian Open and Roland Garros—in the semifinals.
Serena and Mirnyi would go on to win the US Open that year, too, completing a Williams family Calendar Slam in mixed doubles.
The Williams sisters even squared off against each other in the Roland Garros final, with Venus and Gimelstob defeating Serena and her first partner, Argentina’s Luis Lobo, 6-4, 6-4.
After her US Open victory, Serena was asked if she and Venus had been talking about a family Grand Slam going into the US Open.
“Yes, we were. We were talking about it ever since Wimbledon,” Serena said. “We were really working hard.”
She was also asked about the partner switch, and how she came to play with Mirnyi instead of Lobo halfway through the season.
“I just remember he came to me. I really wasn’t - Luis wasn’t there, so I wasn’t going to play with Luis,” Serena said. “I guess that was the only option available - it was a good choice.”