As the 2000s drew to a close, the debate raged on about who the greatest athlete of the decade was. Some argued for the dominance of Tiger Woods in golf, while others pointed to the incredible achievements of swimmers like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt in track and field.
But, when all was said and done, there was one athlete who stood head and shoulders above the rest: Serena Williams.
Throughout the 2000s, Serena Williams established herself as the greatest female tennis player of all time. She won an astonishing 23 Grand Slam singles titles during the decade, including four Australian Opens, three French Opens, six Wimbledon titles, and six US Opens.
In addition to her singles success, she also won seven Grand Slam doubles titles and two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
What made Serena’s dominance so impressive was not just the sheer number of titles she won, but also the way she won them. Her game was built around a combination of power, speed, and mental toughness that made her nearly unbeatable on any surface.
Furthermore, Serena’s serve was one of the most fearsome in the history of the game, regularly clocking in at over 120 miles per hour. Her groundstrokes were equally lethal, with both her forehand and backhand capable of hitting winners from anywhere on the court.
And when the pressure was on, she had an almost supernatural ability to elevate her game to another level.
But perhaps the most impressive thing about Serena was the way she persevered through adversity. She faced numerous injuries throughout the decade, including a series of knee and ankle injuries that would have ended the careers of lesser players. And yet she always found a way to come back stronger, more determined, and more dominant than ever.
In 2003, she suffered a career-threatening knee injury that forced her to miss most of the year. But when she returned to the court in 2004, she won four Grand Slam titles in a row, completing what is now known as the “Serena Slam.”
Off the court, Serena was also an inspiration to millions of fans around the world. She was a vocal advocate for racial justice and gender equality, using her platform to raise awareness of important social issues.
Serena was also a role model for young girls and women everywhere, showing that it was possible to be both strong and feminine, both competitive and gracious.
As the 2000s came to a close, Serena Williams was unquestionably the greatest athlete of the decade. Her dominance on the tennis court was unparalleled, and her impact off the court was equally impressive. And even as she continues to compete at the highest level today off the court.
Overall, Serena’s legacy as one of the all-time greats is already secure.