‘Just Serena’: Williams’ upset win at US Open keeps the legend advancing in final days of her storied career
Just Serena Williams
Updated Jan. 26, 2009 12:01 a.m. ET
The last time Serena Williams played at the US Open, in 1993, she lost in the first round by the same score. This time, she won. Serena has come close to upsetting the reigning champion at the U.S. Open, her three major titles. She hasn’t. She’s always lost in the first round. Then, on Sunday, in her third final, something happened to Serena Williams. She found a way to win, and that will stand out as a singular moment as she bids for an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam title. It’s not the first time Serena has knocked off the top player in her career. At the 1998 U.S. Open, Serena was a 19-year-old Williams. She was No. 1 in the world when she lost to Martina Hingis.
Serena Williams (Photo by John Raoux/AP)
Since then, Serena has had to battle a variety of injuries and in and out of the tour. She was a world- No. 1 at the age of 23 before a serious ankle injury cut her season short to a few months and a knee injury ended her 2007 season before it started.
When Serena has battled, as she did in the 2007 season, she has come up short despite a string of performances where she has shocked the world, and even surprised herself. Most people have seen her win a Grand Slam that year, one where she played with a brace on her right foot and a cast on her left, as well as a fractured thumb that made her unable to play the matches she won. Still, Serena won a Grand Slam in the same season she suffered a left foot injury in the third round. It was a Grand Slam in a Grand Slam that she did not play. She played with a broken right hand, a left-ankle problem, and a torn ligament in her left shoulder. Her best performance came in the French Open. Williams won in France for the second time in her career, but not in the same Grand Slam she won in Paris in 2006