Serena Williams has achieved countless feats in the sport of tennis in the past two decades. The sister of Venus is now very much in a league of her own as far as winning trophies is concerned. That she is still going strong is testament to just how good she’s been over the years. It’s also down to how hungry she remains to achieve more before calling it a day. But it was on this day 6 years ago that she notched up a couple of major achivements in the sport. This was after she won the 2015 French Open final.
With 6 years having passed since the day, let us look back at how Serena Williams created history by winning the 2015 French Open.
Coming into the tournament, Williams had won a grand total of 19 Grand Slam singles titles. A win would take her to 20 – a historic number of major title wins.
She was, of course, helped by some poor performances of her peers. That’s not a slight on Williams, but the women’s tour has yet to find a competitor who has her consistency.
Maria Sharapova was the defending champion in 2015. However, she suffered a fourth round loss to Lucie Safarova. It was the Czech who wound up in the final against Williams.
For her part, Serena worked hard to reach the summit clash. Her second, third and fourth round matches all went to three sets. Crucially for her, no one could beat her once they took her the distance.
She also needed three sets to overcome Timea Bacsinszky in the semi-final. As it turns out, the final was no different in that regard.
The start of the match, however, felt like a result that many predicted would be coming true. Williams stormed to a 6-3 win in the first set. She was now only a set away from making history.
She carried forward the momentum into the second set too, breaking Safarova and taking a 4-1 lead. However, the Czech fought back.
She evened the set and even took it to a tie-breaker, which she won 7-2 to level the game. Williams was clearly shell shocked. This was evident when Safarova broke her in the third set and took a 2-0 lead.
Yet something seemed to change when that happened. Williams, staring down the barrel of defeat, fought back even harder. She broke her opponents serve and then levelled the set 2-2.
Then, in a display of dominance, she didn’t drop a single game and went on to win the deciding set 6-2.
The win saw Serena become only the second woman in Open era history to win 20 singles Grand Slams – and the third taking into account the pre-Open era.
Before her, only Steffi Graff and Margaret Court had won more than 20 Grand Slams – and the latter’s came before the Open era.
Currently, Williams is one Slam win away from equalling Court’s record. Few will bet against her breaking the record before she retires.