The Australian Open has begun, meaning Serena Williams is once again fighting for a title. Williams has the opportunity to match Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles of all-time. Court’s record currently sits at 24, a record she set during her career between 1960-1977. Williams holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the moment, making her the record holder for most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era, and just two away from being the all-time record holder.
Two years ago, Williams earned her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open after facing her sister Venus Williams in the finals. She was unable to return to Australia in 2018 due to the birth of her daughter, but she is back and ready to repeat her 2017 performance in order to claim her 24th title, which would be her eighth Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open.
Williams came within inches of the record-tying title twice in 2018. In August, Williams made it to the final round at Wimbledon, losing to opponent Angelique Kerber of Germany with a final score of 6-3, 6-3. In September, she was again able to secure a spot in the final, this time while competing at the US Open. It came down to a final between Williams and Naomi Osaka, which Williams ultimately lost. The final score was 6-2, 6-4, and the face off became one of the most controversial tennis matches in the history of the sport due to a disagreement between the umpire and Williams.
Williams has faced additional media attention at the Australian Open due to that controversial final round. News outlets have been speculating if and when she will speak out. So far, Williams has remained focused on tennis and motherhood.
In her first match of the Australian Open, Williams won against Tatjana Maria of Germany, advancing her to the second round where she will face Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. Her sister, Venus Williams, also won her first round against Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania. She will face Alize Cornet of France for her second round. The final will be played on Jan. 26.