Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.
See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.
There were more celebrated WTA matches during this decade, but Serena’s win over Azarenka on Centre Court in 2015 was the best example of how fiercely, and well, the women’s game was played over that time.
It was the third collision between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in 2015; in the previous two, Azarenka led before Williams rallied. Now Azarenka was determined to take the final step, and Serena was equally determined to stop her.
The match began with Azarenka playing at full-throttle. She controlled rallies with her backhand, finished with her forehand, defended with both. In the second set, Serena began to match Vika scream for scream and shot for shot. At first, the screams drew giggles from the crowd, and the shots drew gasps; but this match was no laughing matter. It was tennis at its rawest, with all of the old-fashioned masks of politeness stripped away.
“It’s been a while since there was that high quality of women’s tennis,” Azarenka said.
Vika’s level was so high that all Serena could do was keep her from hitting the ball. So she did. She finished with 17 aces, 46 winners, and 12 errors. Put this one in a time capsule, and let fans of the future get a look at what Serena was all about. It’s all they’ll need to know.