Serena Williams turns 40 today.
One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Williams has won 23 singles Grand Slam titles, four Olympic gold medals, spent 319 weeks as world No 1, and holds a number of WTA records.
As Williams celebrates a landmark birthday, we look at some of the 40 best stats and moments from her legendary career so far.
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40 – In winning the Auckland Classic in January 2020, Williams became the first player in the Open Era to win singles titles across four decades. Her first singles title was at the Open Gaz de France in Paris in 1999 when she beat Amelie Mauresmo in the final.
39 - Williams holds the most combined Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles among active players. Her 39 major titles (23 singles, 14 women's doubles, two mixed doubles) puts her joint-third on the all-time list and second in the Open Era.
38 – Williams has 38 wins combined against Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. Her record against Sharapova is 20-2 and she is 18-5 against Azarenka - sandwiched between these two is her sister Venus, over whom she holds a head-to-head record of 19-12.

Serena Williams of the United States holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and Maria Sharapova of Russia holds the runner up plate after their women's final match

Image credit: Getty Images

37 - By reaching the Wimbledon final in 2019, aged 37 years and 291 days, Williams became the oldest woman in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam final, beating Martina Navratilova’s record from Wimbledon in 1994. Williams set a new record a few months later as she made the US Open final aged 37 years and 346 days.
36 – Williams’ age when she reached her first Grand Slam final after giving birth, at Wimbledon in 2018.
35 – Williams became the oldest player to win a Grand Slam singles title when she won the 2017 Australian Open aged 35 years, four months and two days.
34 – The longest winning streak of Williams’ career is 34 matches. It started with victory over Flavia Pennetta in March 2018 and ended with a surprise fourth-round loss to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon. Williams was the defending champion and led 3-0 and 4-2 in the final set against Lisicki.
33 – The number of Grand Slam singles finals reached by Williams, second only to Chris Evert (34). Williams record in finals is 23-10.
32 - At the age of 32, Williams won the most recent of her five WTA Finals titles, bagelling Simona Halep in the second set of the 2014 final.

Serena Williams celebrates winning the WTA Finals in 2014

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31 - The number of meetings between the Williams sisters. Serena leads Venus in the head-to-head record 19-12, and won their most recent match at the Top Seed Open in 2020 by a scoreline of 3-6 6-3 6-4.
30 – By winning majors in the ’90s, ‘00s and ’10s, Williams is the first player to ever win a major in three different decades.
29 – Williams won her first match at a major since giving birth to her daughter Alexis on May 29, 2018 at the French Open. She had given birth eight months earlier and played her first competitive match as a mother on December 30, 2017.
28 – Williams went unbeaten in 28 clay matches in 2013. She won titles in Charleston, Madrid, Rome, Paris and Bastad and dropped only three sets in the entire run. In Rome she was particularly spectacular as she lost just 14 games all week.
27 – Wang Qiang, the 27th seed, beat Williams in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. It was Williams' earliest exit at Melbourne Park in 14 years and her earliest loss at any hard-court Grand Slam since the same moment.
26 – Of the current top 50 players in the world, 26 were not born when Williams played her first professional match in September 1995.
25 – Williams made 25 unforced errors when she suffered the heaviest defeat of her career against Johanna Konta in 2018. Williams had never lost a match without winning at least two games since turning professional, but was beaten 6-1 6-0 by Konta in San Jose.
24 – The magic number. A 24th Grand Slam title would equal Margaret Court’s all-time record.
23 – Just 23 players have beaten Williams multiple times.
22 – Williams has beaten 22 of the other 26 women who have been ranked No 1 in history. The other four players – Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Chris Evert - retired before her professional career began.
21 - In clinching her 21st Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon 2015, Williams completed her second "Serena Slam" of winning all four majors in succession. She had accomplished the feat for the first time in 2002/03. Williams and Graf are the only two players in the Open Era to win four consecutive majors on two separate occasions.

Serena Williams celebrates winning Wimbledon in 2015

Image credit: Getty Images

20 – Williams has had six unbeaten streaks of 20 or more matches in her career.
19 – Williams has won her last 19 matches in a row against Maria Sharapova, after losing two of her first three. Williams leads the head to head 20-2, with Sharapova’s wins coming in the 2004 Wimbledon final and WTA Finals later that year.
18 - Williams went 18 years between her first Grand Slam title (1999 US Open) and her most recent at the 2017 Australian Open. The previous record was 12 years, held by Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.
17 – The age that Williams won her first Slam, beating Martina Hingis 6-3 7-6(4) in the 1999 US Open final.

Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis in the 1999 US Open final

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16 – In November 1997, Williams, who was 16 years old and ranked No 304 in the world, won her first main-draw match on the WTA Tour, beating Elena Likhovtseva in Chicago.
15 – Williams played 15 Fed Cup singles matches for USA, with her only loss coming in her most recent outing against Anastasija Sevastova in 2020.
14 – Williams has won 14 women’s major doubles titles. Serena and Venus are the only doubles team to win their first 14 Grand Slam doubles finals and have never lost a Grand Slam doubles final.
13 – Williams holds the record for most hard-court Grand Slam singles titles of 13 (seven Australian Open titles and six at the US Open).
12 – Since 2010, Williams has 12 Grand Slam titles. Naomi Osaka is the next best with four.
11 – The most titles Williams won in a season was 11 in 2013.

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10 – Williams’ victory at the 2017 Australian Open was her 10th Grand Slam singles title since turning 30. No other female player has won more than three after turning 30.
9 – The number of Grand Slam singles finals where Serena has played Venus. Serena won seven, with Venus winning the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2008.
8 - On April 24 2017, Williams became world No 1 for the eighth time. Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova have held the No 1 ranking on a record nine different occasions.
7 – Williams has won seven matches by a 6-0 6-0 scoreline. They are against: Carla Suarez Navarro, Edina Gallovits-Hall, Andrea Hlavackova, Anastasia Rodionova, Zuzana Ondraskova, Barbara Schett and Larisa Neiland.
6 – Williams has six Grand Slam victories without dropping a single set, which is tied with Martina Navratilova for the best record in history.
5 – Williams has won five year-end WTA Championship titles, level with Steffi Graf and second only to Martina Navratilova (8).
4 – Four Olympic gold medals won by Williams, one in singles (2012) and three in doubles (2000, 2008 and 2012).
3 – Williams is the only player to have won three Grand Slam singles titles after saving match points (2003 Australian Open versus Kim Clijsters, 2005 Australian Open versus Maria Sharapova, and 2009 Wimbledon versus Elena Dementieva).
2 – Only two world No 1's have a winning record against Williams. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won four of their seven matches and Naomi Osaka has won three of their four meetings, including in the 2018 US Open final and Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year.
1 – Williams has held the No 1 ranking for a total of 319 weeks, which is the third best all-time behind Steffi Graf (377) and Martina Navratilova (332). Williams holds the record for the longest time between first getting to No 1 (July 8, 2002) and last holding the No 1 position (May 14, 2017), of 14 years, 10 months and six days.
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