Serena Williams Wins 22nd Grand Slam Title

American and World No. 1 Serena Williams ties Steffi Graf’s record for most singles majors won in the open era.

The women’s final for Wimbledon 2016 was played on Saturday, completing what was often a rain-delayed women’s draw. Serena Williams defeated Angelique Kerber in the championship match in straight sets, winning 7-5, 6-3 to claim her 7th title in singles at the All England Club and her 22nd major overall. The latter mark ties her with Steffi Graf for most titles in the open era.Β Here’s how the two players’ title counts currently measure up:

Serena Williams

  • Australian Opens: six
  • French Opens: three
  • Wimbledons: seven
  • US Opens: six

Steffi Graf

  • Australian Opens: four
  • French Opens: six
  • Wimbledons: seven
  • US Opens: five

Williams, who will be 35 years old in the early fall, could break Graf’s record with a singles title in any future major. Her age does call into question how many Grand Slams she will be competitive in going forward. However, she has enjoyed a lot of success at the US Open over the years and the 2016 version of the event represents what could end up being her best chance to break Graf’s record outright. That tournament will start in very late August with a mid-September conclusion date.

The win over Kerber, besides tying Graf’s record, also gave Williams some cushion in regard to the World No. 1 ranking. Had Kerber won she would have been very close to overtaking Serena for top spot. However, Williams’ victory will give her an 1830-point lead in the rankings when they update on Monday. That could be overtaken in the months ahead, however had she lost the final to Kerber the lead would have been very slim.

Kerber, who missed her chance at a second Grand Slam title, will need to stay focused in order to overtake Williams. The German, after winning the Aussie, didn’t seem interested in playing her best tennis until Wimbledon started. If she takes a long ‘working holiday’ again, she could miss her chance to become the World No. 1.

However, Serena certainly isn’t one for relaxing at this point in her career. On the day that she won her 7th Wimbledon title in singles, sheΒ also won a doubles title at Wimbledon. Partnered with sister Venus, the Americans claimed their sixth doubles title at the All England Club, on this occasion defeating the team of Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova.

In situations like this one, where a player is pulling double duty, tournament organizers try to give suitable rest. However, Serena commented about how little time she had between closing ceremonies for the women’s singles draw and the start of the double’s final:

“I had just enough time to change and get my ankles re-taped,” Serena said. “But there was so much adrenaline. I didn’t want to cool down too much.”

Ahead of Flushing Meadows, there’s the Rio Olympics and the Premier Mandatory event in Montreal. Look for Williams at those tournaments before she goes for her 23rd singles title at the 2016 US Open.

Shane Lambert