Serena Williams and Jelena Ostapenko: The Only Woman to Win 24 Grand Slam Singles Titles

‘Just Serena’: Williams’ upset win at US Open keeps the legend advancing in final days of her storied career and is a fitting way to mark the end of her 20-year-long career.

Just Serena Williams. Serena Williams’ upset win over Jelena Ostapenko at the US Open on Monday marked her 20th career Grand Slam championship and also cemented her status as one of the more remarkable athletes in history. She is the first woman to win 24 Grand Slam singles titles and was the first American in history to do so in 20 seasons. It was her fifth US Open title and the last before her retirement in 2017. And, as she stood on the winner’s podium, the American tennis legend looked to be in a different place from the one she has occupied all these years.

The sun was setting in New York as Serena Williams stood at the center of an adoring New Yorkers’ audience on Monday night. The first female of mixed-race heritage to have back-to-back major singles titles, it was an image Williams wanted most of all.

The crowd’s adulation came in waves, with loud ‘Serena!’s punctuating each of Williams’ victories and her ‘No!’ following each of her losses. And though she was, according to the official rules, the reigning champion, the American had yet to win a Major since the 2000 Australian Open. But Serena Williams had no reason to care.

With Williams on the wrong end of a 5-0, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Ostapenko at the US Open, Ostapenko is suddenly the only person to win five US Open titles. And just like the Williams legend, one of the greatest tennis players to ever live, both players left the courts with their heads held high.

Williams, the only woman to win an Olympic gold medal (Serena Williams claimed bronze in 2004), five Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic gold, was the one who took Ostapenko out in the first set, the first of the match. It was Williams first major win since Wimbledon in 2003 and her fifth Grand Slam title overall, and made her the longest streak champion at all seven majors. The victory capped a remarkable streak: Serena won the French Open in 2006 and Wimbledon in 2012,

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