How Many More Wins Do the Williams Sisters Have in Them?
For the past decade, many tennis fans have had a sort of love-hate relationship with the formidable Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. Between them they have won victories in 19 of 45 Grand Slam singles tournaments since 1999, and there have only been two years since then without a Williams win in one of the big four tournaments. Outside of that, they have a combined 79 Single’s titles and 18 titles as a Doubles partnership, which includes 11 Grand Slam Doubles titles. Venus has been ranked in the number one spot for a total of 11 weeks in her career, but this number is relatively low only because Serena, who generally has the slight edge between them, has had the top spot for 103 weeks. There have been multiple occasions in which the two have been ranked 1 and 2 at the same time.
The effects of the Williams sisters’ dominance are felt deepest in the U.S., where there have been very few women’s tennis players who can compete. The last non-Williams American to win a Grand Slam tournament was Jennifer Capriati, and that was nearly a decade ago. So, while we all love to see great athletes performing at the tops of their games, some are ready for some fresh faces. What can we expect in the future from the Williams sisters?
Heading into the 2010 summer Grand Slam season, the Williams sisters are ranked in the top two slots, with Serena at number one after her victory in Australia. Serena, who at 28 is a little over a year younger than her sister, has been better than Venus in recent years, but not by a huge margin.
Although the sisters show no signs of letting up, history shows that even the greatest professional tennis players on both the Men’s and Women’s side are hard-pressed to keep up past the age of 30. For example, the great Steffi Graf won her final Grand Slam at 30, Martina Navratilova had her final victory at 34 (after a two-year drought), and even the Australian great Margaret Court, the winningest woman in Grand Slam history, won her last title at the age of 31.
We can’t necessarily use this to make predictions about how the Williams sisters will perform in the coming years, but if it is any indication, than we can expect Venus to begin fading within a couple of years, and Serena soon thereafter. In any case, it’s reasonable to suppose that the sisters are well past the halfway points of their great careers, so perhaps we should all just sit back and enjoy the show while it lasts