Serena Williams, 40, Adds Yet Another Milestone Despite Being on the Sidelines

Published 11/22/2021, 7:27 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 17: Serena Williams of the United States plays a shot in her first round match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on day two of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


The WTA 2021 year-end rankings are out and the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has finished the season as the World No.41. For Williams, injuries hampered her 2021 season, which forced her to retire from her first-round match at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

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The painful first-round retirement at Wimbledon, which led to her leaving the court in tears, turned out to be Williams’ last match of the year. Since then, the American has been recovering from her injury.

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Serena Williams adds another feather in her cap

As a result, Williams, who was ranked within the Top-10 for almost the entirety during the first half of the season, nose-dived 33 spots in the rankings thereafter.

However, despite an injury-plagued season, Williams can probably take solace at a statistic released by the WTA. At 40 years, 50 days old, Williams is the oldest woman in the Top-100 WTA rankings. Another milestone in her long list of achievements.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Looking at the 2021 year-end rankings, the Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has ended the season as the World No.1 for the third consecutive year. She joins Stefanie Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams, and Chris Evert as the only players to finish as the year-end No.1 for three consecutive years.

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Garbine Muguruza, who finished the season by lifting her maiden WTA Finals trophy, ends the 2021 season as the World No.3, her highest ranking in over three years.

Tennis – WTA Tour Finals – Panamerican Tennis Center, Guadalajara, Mexico – November 14, 2021 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning her group stage match against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit REUTERS/Henry Romero

Fellow Spaniard, Paula Badosa, joins Muguruza in the Top-10 rankings as she finishes the season ranked No.8. Interestingly, two Spanish women have ended the year inside the Top-10 for the first time since 2000 when Conchita Martinez (No.5) and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (No.9) both finished in the Top 10.

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Probably, the biggest omission from the 2021 Top-10 year-end rankings is the 4-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka. After her third-round exit at the US Open, Osaka took an indefinite break from tennis and finishes the season as the World No.13.

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Kshitij Tayal

518 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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