‘Just Serena’: Williams’ upset win at US Open keeps the legend advancing in final days of her storied career
After a first-round bye in her 10th appearance at a Grand Slam – and first since 2009 – Serena Williams came out of her shell and found her inner strength to take control of the match. Her performance also earned her the No. 1 ranking at the end of the day, the largest in the Open era, which extends back to 1978.
Williams went on to demolish Madison Keys in the final set to win the US Open title, and the first ever at a Grand Slam, the first since Venus Williams in 1984.
And as a celebration, the world’s most popular woman wore one of her signature shoes, a Nike Air Jordan One.
“The world of sports is one of the last bastions of hope,” said a giddy Williams. “I’m sure there are some people out there who think I’m arrogant, but I feel I’ve been given a second lease on life. It’s been a long time since I was in a major final, and I’m just tickled to be sharing this moment with tennis fans around the world.”
Williams, 36, became the highest-ranked player at the U.S. Open since Mary Smith in 1962. Her victory, which extended the Open era in terms of the world’s top 10 female players, also set a record for highest rung at the tournament, surpassing the previous mark of No. 8 – achieved by Maria Sharapova in 2008 – and her 16th major at the final round, equaling the record set by Steffi Graf in 1988.
World no.1s Venus and Serena Williams during their battle for the women’s singles final on Day 9 of the US Open (Getty)
“This was the real dream of my life. I’ve been thinking about winning the US Open for so many years,” said Williams. �