There’s a lot I know about Serena Williams. It’s amazing to watch her play tennis, full stop. Every match she plays is a reminder that we are incredibly lucky to be alive during her career. She’s been so dominant and consistently astonishing over her career that you don’t need statistics to appreciate what she’s done. But there are still times I come across a statistic from her career and go “this cannot possibly be correct.” BUT THEN IT IS.
The most amazing stats from her career amplify how amazing we innately know she is and only helps add jaw-dropping perspective to her still-strong career. So here are some of the Serena’s most stunning statistics so your jaw can drop as well.
The (Mostly) Obvious Ones
23 Grand Slam Singles Titles
This is the one everyone knows, and which Serena is still adding to. She officially passed Steffi Graf with her 2017 Australian Open win and is showing no signs of settling at just holding the record. So far she’s beaten 11 different players who have held the number one ranking and she’s beaten her sister Venus in a Slam final seven times.
As for the overall Slam titles crown, Serena still has a bit farther to go to overtake Martina Navratilova at 56. Between her singles titles, doubles, and mixed doubles, Serena only (“only”) sits at 39 titles total.
1 of 2 players in the Open Era to have won each major 3 or more times (singles)
She and Graf are the only ones able to say this as singles players, as Steffi has won each of the Slams four or more times. Pam Shriver also holds the title with four or more wins at each Slam in doubles.
A Slam win in 3 decades
Serena has won a major tournament in three consecutive decades, a group in women’s tennis that includes ... Serena Williams. And that’s it. She has the longest winning span between majors of any woman in the Open Era, from 1999-2017.
Most Slam match wins
Navratilova loses out to Serena on this one, as Williams has won 316 matches in Slams versus Navratilova’s 306. The next active player on the list is Venus at 5th with 262 wins, so Serena’s lead is only going to widen at the top.
7 Australian Open Wins
It’s no wonder Serena’s daughter has the initials “AO.” Not only was Williams pregnant with the next generation of Williams when she won number seven but the next greats on the list behind Serena — Steffi Graf, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, and Monica Seles — only have four wins in Australia. That’s a wild margin for a Slam title.
Most match wins at the Australian Open
Well she’s won it seven times so this tracks. She’s won 81 matches at the tournament.
Most WTA Titles Among Active Players
Serena has played in 92 career WTA finals; a record of 72 wins and only 20 losses. She most likely stands no chance of overtaking Steffi Graf (138), Chris Evert (230), or Martina Navratilova (239) in the finals category so she’ll only hold this record until she retires.
Most Prize Money
Serena has earned $84,463,131 in prize money to date. No endorsements or sponsorships involved, just prize money. It makes logical sense because she wins a lot so she makes a lot. But that’s still an eye-popping number.
Most matches won among active players
She has 743 as it stands, but that’s only about half of what Navratilova had when she retired. So this is one that won’t be Serena’s once her playing career finally ends.
Oldest to ...
Win a Slam in the major era
She won her seventh Australian Open at 35 years and 125 days old. She has also won 10 Grand Slam titles after turning 30. In the Open Era, no other female player has won more than 3 after that birthday.
Be ranked #1 in WTA history
When she replaced Victoria Azarenka in 2013, Serena was 31 years and 145 days old and became the oldest woman to be ranked number one.
The Gold(Medal)-Standard Ones
Record for Tennis Medals at the Olympics
Serena shares the record of most Olympic medals won by a tennis player with her sister. They’ve each won a singles medal and three for their doubles play.
She is the only player in history, male or female, to possess a Career Golden Slam in singles and doubles. That means she’s won the four slams and a gold medal. In both singles and doubles. That’s bananas.
The “HOLY SHIT Are You Sure?” Ones
Wins Against Players Ranked #1
Serena has beaten 20 of the other 24 women to be ranked number one in history. The four other players she couldn’t have beaten, because they retired before she even started her pro career.
Slams Won Without Dropping A Set
Currently, she has six slam victories without dropping a single set. That’s tied with Navratilova for the best in history.
50 or More Match Wins In Every Slam
She was the first woman do this in the Open Era, and that it isn’t even the most stunning stat of her career says a lot about what she’s accomplished.
Separate Years Ranked #1
She’s been ranked WTA number one in ten different years of her career ( 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017). She’s currently tied with Steffi Graf in that distinction.
Record Against Top 10 Players
Against number one ranked players (previously or currently when they played), Serena only has a losing record against one: Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who she was 3-4 against in her career. Against every current or former Top 10 player she’s faced, she only has a losing record against two of them. She was 0-1 against both Mary Joe Fernandez and Paola Suarez. She has 172 total wins over Top 10 players.
She has two “Serena Slams,” when she held all four Slams at the same time even if they weren’t in the same calendar year (an accomplishment that has eluded her.) That makes her the only player to win four or more slams in a row more than once.
Years Between Losing Consecutive Matches
From 2009 to a recent loss at the Miami Open in 2018, Serena didn’t lose two matches in a row. Let that sink in.
Winning a Slam After Saving Match Point
Winning a major tournament after saving a match point is astonishing on its own. But Serena has won three Slams that way: the 2003 and 2005 Australian Opens and at Wimbledon in 2009.
Doubles Slam Finals
Serena and Venus are the only doubles team to win the first 14 Slam doubles finals they played in. When they’ve made it to the final at a Slam, they’re undefeated.
Career Doubles Golden Slam
She and Venus are the only duo to have a Career Doubles Golden Slam, winning a gold medal at the Olympics as well as all four majors in doubles.
Top 2 Siblings
Serena and Venus became the first siblings to rank numbers one and two in the WTA rankings in 2002.
Main Draw Double Bagel Leader
Serena has double bageled (winning 6-0, 6-0) an opponent in seven matches, tied only with Victoria Azarenka among active players.
Consecutive weeks at #1
She is tied with Graf at 186 weeks straight at the top of the rankings. That’s probably not something she has the time to surpass at this point, but count out Serena at your own peril.