Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Serena Williams has won 16 grand slam titles and has shown signs of tiring. Michel Spingler / AP Photo
Serena Williams has won 16 grand slam titles and has shown signs of tiring. Michel Spingler / AP Photo

Serena Williams has outlasted her contemporaries

World No 1 says she has not reached her peak yet. If that is true, she could be on her way of reaching Margaret Court's record haul of grand slam titles, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

"I definitely want to go out in my peak, that's my goal," Serena Williams said on Saturday after beating Maria Sharapova for her second French Open crown. "But have I peaked yet?"

Opponents will shudder at the thought, but has she peaked yet? It would be an odd question to ask of a 31 year old, who has spent 18 years of her life on the tour, especially someone who has 16 grand slam singles trophies on her shelf. That list could have been higher if she had not missed 11 grand slams.

Her contemporaries are long gone ... from Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters to Elena Dementieva. But Serena is still here and playing the tennis of her life, and she is the oldest No 1 since the introduction of computerised rankings.

Hingis, 32 now, announced her retirement at the age of 22 in 2003 after winning five majors. She came back two years later, but retired for a second time in 2007 following a positive drug test.

Henin, Serena's elder by four months, first retired from the game in 2008 at the age of 25 with seven grand slam singles crown. She was back in 2010 before calling quits a year later due to an elbow injury.

Clijsters, younger to Serena by six months, retired in 2007 at the age 24 due to injuries. She was back in 2009, a year after the birth of her daughter, but left the game for good last December. Dementieva, a few days younger than Serena, quit in 2010.

Both Hingis and Dementieva were playing in the Legends tournament at Roland Garros.

And yet Serena goes on, still talking about reaching the peaks of her potential and disappointed that she does not many years ahead.

"I always said that I felt like I have never played my best tennis," she said on Saturday. "I have said that for years, that I feel like I can always do better and play better and I have always wanted to reach that level. Maybe I'm just trying to get there."

Again, a frightening thought for her opponents. If she continues in the same vein, she might join Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the list of all-time grand slam winners with 18 each before the end of this year. And then she can set her sights on overhauling Helen Wills Moody (19), Steffi Graf (22) and Margaret Court (24).

Right now, though, her focus is on the equalling Roger Federer's men's record of 17.

"It's so funny, I thought Roger had 16, but he has 17," said Serena. "How awesome would it be if I could do it at Wimbledon?"


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National