Following a 6-3 6-2 victory over Tamira Paszek , Serena Williams defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-0 6-4 in the second round of the Australian Open. With the victory, Williams notched her 500th career win, an achievement she now shares with her sister Venus Williams. The win improved her record to 500-104 in tour matches and it was her 16th consecutive match win at Melbourne Park, where she has won five Australian Open titles.
Just two points away from the historic win, Williams twisted her right ankle and tumbled to the court. Luckily it was a different ankle from the one she injured this month in Brisbane. When the hour-long match was finished, Serena assured fans that both ankles are just fine. “I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina or anything,” she said in a post-match TV interview.
After blasting her way into the third round , the 13-time Grand Slam champion had this to say about her milestone:
It’s great. I haven’t even thought about it. It’s like the ultimate. It’s really, really cool. The first thing I asked, of course, Is there anyone that achieved a thousand? I guess not. I never will get there either. But it’s really cool. 500 is a lot of matches to play, let alone to win, so it’s pretty cool.
Only Martina Navratilova with 1,442 and Chris Evert with 1,309 have surpassed 1,000 victories among women players.
Four months after turning 30, Williams is one of the favorites to win the Australian Open and the $2.3 million purse (the biggest prize of any slam) . That’s huge for a player who, by her own admission, doesn’t “love” tennis. Yes, it’s a job and no one loves their job all the time, but Williams remains one of the most dynamic players on the tour and with her latest win, she’s to be congratulated on an amazing accomplishment.