The invincible tennis icon of the 21st century, Serena Williams has created an unprecedented legacy in the women’s game. And for the years to come, no one in the women’s game seems to be in the vicinity of her accomplishments. One of her unbreakable records is 186 consecutive weeks stay on the summit of the WTA’s number one spot. She shares the spot with the German Steffi Graff.
Going back in time, in the year 2002, Serena dethroned elder her sister Venus at Wimbledon Championships and earned the World Number one spot for the very first time in her career. That season Serena also conquered her first ‘Serena Slam.’
As an interesting fact, she was the first African-American woman to be ranked on WTA’s top. Until today, amongst the African-American community of tennis players, only Serena and Venus could reach the WTA apex.
Beginning of Serena Williams’ 186 consecutive weeks streak
Serena’s 186 consecutive weeks streak began after defeating Petra Kvitova at the quarterfinals of Doha Open 2013. Williams returned to the top for the sixth time in her career and became the oldest woman to hold it.
After losing in the Doha finals, Williams extended her match-winning streak to 34. She won titles in Miami and Charleston. And during the clay season, she captured the titles in Madrid and Rome. In Madrid finals, Wiliams played the second seed, Maria Sharapova.
During that match, Serena’s loss to Maria would have taken away the World Number one spot from her but she prevailed over the Russian. They again played each other in the French Open 2013 finals and Williams was triumphant.
After losing the match in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2013 to Sabine Lisicki, Serena just lost to Victoria Azarenka in the finals of Cincinnati.
The American ace won titles in Sweden, Canada, and China to stay firm on the top. Her US Open and WTA Finals 2013 wins consequently made her irreplaceable from the top spot.
Year-End World Number one for the fourth time
In 2014 Serena Williams began her season with a title in Brisbane. She won titles in Miami and Rome, but she did not with Grand Slams deteriorated until the first half of the season.
Nevertheless, after being triumphant during the American hard-court summer with titles in Cincinnati and later capturing the US Open, Williams remained on the WTA’s summit. Later, with her win over Simona Halep in the World Finals 2015, Williams concluded the year as the World Number one player for the fourth time.
Going into the year 2015, it was a big season for Serena Williams. She entered the season with a Grand Slam winning streak and she extended it to 33. She won the Aussie Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon and completed her ‘Serena Slam 2.0’.
After losing to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semifinals, Serena concluded her season 2015 with the Yea-End World Number one sash.
When Serena surpassed Chris Evert’s record
That season, in the month of October Williams, surpassed Chris Evert for third-most weeks ranked as the World Number one. Also, she became the first player since Steffi Graf in 1990 to hold the top ranking for two consecutive years.
In 2016, Williams lost Australian Open and French Open finals but was victorious in Wimbledon. Her grass-court major win tied the Open Era major record with Steffi Graf since it was her 22nd Grand Slam title.
When was the streak snapped?
With Angelique Kerber winning her second Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows, she knocked out Serena from the top-spot and turned World Number one for the very first time in her career.
Collectively, Williams has been ranked World Number one for 319 weeks. It’s the third-highest sum in the Open Era of tennis.