Tennis legend John MacEnroe has already affixed the title of “The Greatest of All Time” upon the crown of Serena Williams right after she won her 3rd U.S. Open in a row, her 6th U.S. Open overall and, most importantly, which tied her with the towering icons of the sport, Chris Evert and Martina Navratalova, with her 18th Grand Slam Tennis title.
Just as remarkable is the fact that Serena (we now address her by first name only) won her first U.S. Open title 16 years ago against Martina Hingis who, by the way, was a great player named after Navratalova. To maintain that ravenous appetite over that vast time frame is also nearly unmatched in tennis history.
It was an emotional acceptance speech by Serena before she was joined at center court by Evert and Navratalova and presented a gold bracelet with the number 18 scrawled across the face. The poignancy of the moment was somewhat awkward because of Serena’s elder sister Venus’ conspicuous absence. Serena also failed to thank her sister during her interview but thanked her father.
Serena is now four away from equally idolized Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam Titles in the Open Era.
Celebrities were quick to climb onto social media to pay homage to, undoubtedly and undisputedly, one of the best players who ever grabbed a tennis racket in the annals of the sport. Take a look: