Leave it to Serena Williams to be a new mother and go back to playing four Grand Slam events. The tennis legend finished as a runner-up in a couple of matches and ended the year by featuring in the Top 10.
Already having 23 Grand Slam titles, the new mom was in search of the 24th but didn’t quite make it. Still, Serena performed beautifully in all of her matches, proving that some women can actually do it all.
The Infamous 2018 U.S. Open
2018 was a rough year for Serena, losing the French and Australian Open, and Wimbledon. However, her performance at the U.S. Open that year was memorable for all the wrong reasons. In a very tense match against Naomi Osaka, Serena started going off on umpire Carlos Ramos, eventually calling him “a thief” for stealing a point from her.
This came after she had smashed a racquet to the ground, which finally resulted in her getting a point penalty, being docked a game, and getting fined $17,000. In the final match, Osaka won the title, but she ended up accepting it with tears in her eyes, as the crowd booed in support of an angry Serena.
Serena Apologizes for Her Behavior
In 2019, a year after the dramatic U.S. Open match against Osaka, Serena sent an apology to the Japanese tennis player for her behavior on the court. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Serena explained, "I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn't ready to pick up a racket," Williams said.
She eventually realized that there was only one way for her to move forward. It was time for her to apologize to the person who deserved it the most. She knew she was in the wrong.
Venus Loses to a Teenager
In what was a jaw-dropping moment in sports, Venus was defeated by a 15-year-old teenager, American Coco Gauff. In the first round at the 2019 Wimbledon Championship, Gauff beat Venus by serving balls that flew at over 116mph. The young player secured a 6-4, 6-4 win, leaving the crowd in complete awe.
The match ended on a very nostalgic note after Venus humbly shook Gauff’s hand and the teenager said to her idol, with tears on her face, “Thank you for everything you’ve done. I wouldn’t be here without you.”
Venus’s 90th Grand Slam
Venus attended the 2021 Wimbledon Championship, marking her 90th Grand Slam appearance. In an impressive opening round, Venus defeated Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in a three-set victory. What’s amazing is that Venus was 41 years old at the time, making her one of the world’s Top five oldest tennis players.
When asked what her secret was, Venus simply answered that she was good at what she did and that she knew how to handle challenges. She added that every point on the court was a challenge and she just took them as they came.