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Serena Williams: The tennis superstar's most memorable Wimbledon moments to date

Did you know that in the year the American won her first Wimbledon title, Google was founded? Olympics.com shares iconic world moments alongside the tennis great's Wimbledon career... so far.

10 min By Jo Gunston
Serena Williams Wimbledon 2015
(Picture by 2015 Getty Images)

It’s difficult to understand the longevity of Serena Williamstennis career, isn’t it?

The American is competing at Wimbledon 2022 as a 40-year-old. She turned pro in 1995 when she was 14, and, to date, has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most ever in the Open era. Oh and 16 doubles titles (14 in women’s and two in mixed), plus four Olympic gold medals (three in doubles, one in singles).

Williams has one singles Grand Slam more than Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who at the age of 36 has claimed an additional two Grand Slams in 2022 (the Australian Open and an incredible 14th French Open title at Roland-Garros last month) to take him to 22, two ahead of 40-year-old Swiss Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic, the 35-year-old Serb.

The quartet are the closest current players who might be able to match, or break, the record set by Australia’s Margaret Court, whose 24 Grand Slam singles titles target has stood for nigh on half a century.

Williams is in no doubt that reaching the mark this fortnight in London is her target, as revealed in her pre-tournament press conference.

Serena's return

Having not seen Williams’ near a tennis court for almost exactly one year, since last being seen leaving Wimbledon after an injury-induced exit, perhaps that was that for Serena’s tennis career fans thought.

Until Monday 14 June 2022 that is, when Williams' Instagram feed, which has more recently been filled with family posts, business ventures and fashion lines, showed a picture her sparkling-white trainer-clad feet on a grass court along with 10 little words.

‘SW at SW19. It’s a date. 2022 See you there.’

Wimbledon, it appeared, was on.

So, as Williams’ tennis journey continues, Olympics.com tries to put into context her longevity at the highest level by featuring Williams' iconic moments at the world’s oldest tournament alongside notable events taking place in the world at that time.

1998

Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in the mixed doubles alongside Belarus’ Max Mirnyi. When asked in an interview with the WTA Tour in 2018 to reflect on pairing with the teenager, Mirnyi said: "We had some tough matches on the way to the title, and despite the fact she was so young at the time, she had the fierce fighting spirit of a mature warrior."

The pair would go on to replicate the feat at the US Open later that year.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 1998
– Wimbledon mixed doubles
– US Open mixed doubles

Iconic world moments
– Titanic becomes the first movie to gross more than $1 billion at the box office.
– Britney Spears releases ‘One More Time’.
– Apple debuts its revolutionary iMac.
– Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Serena Williams Wimbledon 1998
Serena Williams Wimbledon 1998

1999

No Wimbledon titles this year. Nevertheless, Serena Williams partied like it was 1999, not only because it was 1999 but because she also won her first singles Grand Slam title – on home turf to boot – at the US Open, beating Switzerland’s Martina Hingis. Williams was just 17.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 1999
- Roland-Garros doubles
- US Open singles & doubles

Iconic world moments
– Space Shuttle Discovery became the first vessel to dock with the International Space Station.
– Introduction of the Euro currency.
– The Sopranos debuts.
– Jack Ma founds Chinese online platform, Alibaba.

2000

Williams’ next Wimbledon triumph came two years after the first when, alongside older sister Venus Williams, the pair won the third of 14 women’s doubles Grand Slam titles together.

The year 2000 also saw Serena’s first foray into the Olympic Summer Games, coming away with the gold medal in doubles with Venus at Sydney 2000.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2000
– Wimbledon doubles

Iconic world moments
– People in Gisborne, New Zealand are (unofficially) the first to see in the new millennium.
– Playstation 2 is released.
– The original Peanuts cartoon comic strip makes its final appearance in newspapers.

Serena Williamsn and Venus Williams Wimbledon 2000
Serena Williamsn and Venus Williams Wimbledon 2000

2001

Injury curtailed another appearance on grass but an Australian Open women’s doubles trophy was still added to the cabinet this year.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2001
– Australian Open doubles

Iconic world moments
– Wikipedia is launched.
– Steve Jobs introduces the first iPod.

2002

Double success in 2002 as Serena Williams wins her first Wimbledon singles title, yet it is a bittersweet moment. Her opponent in the final is defending champion and beloved older sister Venus. The pair, who acknowledged not enjoying playing against each other, nevertheless added their second women’s doubles title together, a soothing balm no doubt to any hurt feelings.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2002
– Roland-Garros singles
– Wimbledon singles & doubles
– US Open singles

Iconic world moments
– Euro enters circulation.
– Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
– The African Union is founded.

Serena Williams beats Venus Williams Wimbledon 2002
Serena Williams beats Venus Williams Wimbledon 2002 (2002 Getty Images)

2003

Serena defends her Wimbledon title, again with her sibling on the opposite side of the net, but this time there is no salve of a doubles title to celebrate together.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2003
– Wimbledon singles
– Australian Open singles & doubles

Iconic world moments
– The Human Genome Project is completed.
– Final flight of Concorde.

2004-2007

During this three-year period Williams claimed no Wimbledon titles but did win the Australian Open singles crown in both 2005 and 2007.

Meanwhile, world events included the launch of Facebook (2004), YouTube and Reddit (both 2005) – the latter incidentally co-created by Williams’ now husband, Alexis Ohanian.

2008

This time, Serena was on the receiving end of a loss to her sibling, with Venus winning her fifth Wimbledon singles title. The pair again won the doubles title on the grass courts before claiming their second Olympic medal together a month later, gold, of course, for Team USA at Beijing 2008.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2008
– Wimbledon doubles
– US Open singles

Iconic world moments
– Barack Obama is elected the first black President of the United States.
– Google Chrome is released.
– Tesla Roadster launched the first mass production electric car.

2009

It’s the double again as Serena sweeps the singles and doubles events at Wimbledon, the latter with Venus, replicating the result from the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.

Winning doubles at the US Open and that makes it just the five Grand Slams this year for Serena thank you very much.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2009
– Australian Open singles & doubles
– Wimbledon singles & doubles
– US Open doubles

Iconic world moments
– Cryptocurrency Bitcoin is launched.
– Formation of BRICS economic bloc.

Serena Williams Wimbledon 2009
Serena Williams Wimbledon 2009 (2009 Getty Images)

2010

One queen meets another. Queen Elizabeth II visited Wimbledon on Thursday 24 June, her first visit to the annual tennis tournament in 33 years, and Serena was one of those chosen to meet the monarch.

Williams went on to successfully defend the women's crown to win her fourth Wimbledon singles title.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2010
– Australian Open singles & doubles
– French Open doubles
– Wimbledon singles

Iconic world moments
– The FIFA World Cup is held in Africa for the first time.
– Avatar overtakes Titanic as the highest-grossing film of all time.
– The Burj Khalifa in Dubai becomes the tallest structure in the world at 829.8m (2,722ft).
– Instagram is launched.

Serena Williams and the Queen Wimbledon 2010
Serena Williams and the Queen Wimbledon 2010 (2010 Getty Images)

2011

No Grand Slam trophies for Williams this year in an illness and injury-hit season.

World events saw Prince William marry Catherine Middleton, NASA launch a spacecraft to visit Jupiter and Mars, and seven new wonders of nature are named including the Amazon Rainforest and River, Iguazú Falls, and Table Mountain, all chosen by a public poll.

2012

Williams wins four titles at Wimbledon this year, courtesy of the London 2012 Olympic tennis tournament taking place at the iconic venue in the English capital just weeks after the Grand Slam finishes.

Claiming both the singles crowns and doubles titles – the latter again with Venus – the pair grin from ear to ear as they stand on the Olympic podium with the Star Spangled Banner ringing out across the lush grass.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2012
– Wimbledon singles & doubles
– US Open singles

Iconic world moments
– Skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without a vehicle.
– The Higgs boson – a particle that helps explain the origin of mass – is discovered.
– The US rover, Curiosity, finds evidence of an ancient streambed of water on Mars.
– Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

2013-14

French Open and US Open singles titles were conquests for Williams in 2013, with a defence of the US Open title coming a year later.

World events saw the death of Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI resigning – the first Pope to do since 1415, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicating to leave his son crowned King Felipe VI, and the Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on a comet.

2015

A now 33-year-old Williams wins her sixth Wimbledon singles title and a second non-calendar year Grand Slam (the first was in 2002) – courtesy of winning the 2014 US Open, and the Australian Open, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, all in 2015.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2015
– Australian Open singles
– Roland-Garros singles
– Wimbledon singles

Iconic world moments
– A global climate change pact is agreed at the COP 21 summit, committing all countries to reduce carbon emissions for the first time.
– Facebook passes one billion users.
– Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in history.

2016

Serena’s final Wimbledon Grand Slam wins – to date – were at Wimbledon in 2016 where she again took the doubles and singles titles. Williams’ had reached the Australian Open singles final and Roland-Garros just losing out on the ultimate prize – and was also knocked out in the US Open semi-finals. Still a stellar year in anyone's book though.

Serena's Grand Slam titles in 2016
– Wimbledon singles & doubles

Iconic world moments
– The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union.
– The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations to fight global warming, formally goes into effect.
– Augmented-reality game, Pokémon Go becomes the best-selling mobile game of all time.

Serena Williams Wimbledon 2016
Serena Williams Wimbledon 2016 (2016 Getty Images)

2017-2022

No more Wimbledon titles have been won by the grass-court superstar since. The year of her last Grand Slam win was the Australian Open in 2017... to date.

You have to, don’t you, keep saying ‘to date’?

Williams continues to defy expectations, to the point where, honestly, who knows what she could do at Wimbledon 2022.

If there was a personification of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”, Serena Jameka Williams is it.

Wimbledon: How to watch the All England tennis Championships

Wimbledon takes place from Monday 27 June – Sunday 10 July 2022 at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in south west London.

You can find all the latest information, including a list of broadcasters by territory, on the Wimbledon website.

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