Serena Williams is arguably the greatest female tennis player in the sport’s history. Beginning Monday, she’s going to try to complete the grand slam, winning the tour’s four major tournaments — the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open — all in the same calendar year. She is looking to become the first athlete to accomplish the feat since Steffi Graf in 1988. Serena, the top-ranked female tennis player in the world, accomplished what became known as the “Serena Slam” in 2002-03, winning the four majors consecutively but over two calendar years.
With Serena’s draw, depending on how the tournament works out, she could face some tough competition, including older sister Venus. Her first-round opponent is 86th-ranked Vitalia Diatchenko. If Serena wins her first couple matches, she could do battle with 29th-ranked fellow American Sloane Stephens in the third round. Venus would be looming as Serena’s quarterfinals opponent if both were to advance that far in the tournament, while Maria Sharapova, the world’s No. 3, is on track for a semifinal battle with Serena. If Serena makes it to the final match, she could face one of only two players to beat her so far this year, 5th-ranked Petra Kvitova.
If 33-year-old Serena Williams wins the tournament, which takes place over two weeks at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y., it would be her fourth consecutive U.S. Open title and 22nd major overall. Excitement is building to potentially see Serena complete the grand slam; tickets for the women’s final on Sept. 12 sold out before the men’s final for the first time in U.S. Open history.