Serena Williams is undeniably one of, if not the most dominant players in the history of tennis. Since winning her first Grand Slam title in 1999, Williams has gone on to hoist 23 Grand Slam trophies. Trailing only Margaret Court (24) for the most Grand Slam singles titles of all time.
However, at 39 years of age Serena will be coming into the 2021 Grand Slam circuit having not won a major tournament since 2016. Which begs the question. Can Serena tie or even surpass Margaret Court? And in doing so, become the most successful player in tennis history.
In a disappointing 2020 season, Williams experienced a third-round exit at the Australian Open, before suffering an achilles injury in her semi-final defeat at the US Open in September. Williams’ injury ruled her out for the remainder of the Grand Slam circuit in 2020.
Amid her recovery, Williams has recently confirmed that she will be traveling to Melbourne in January to kick off the 2021 season and compete for her 24th Grand Slam title.
Williams to win the 2021 Australian Open: +900
As it stands, Serena is currently the fourth favourite (+900) to win the 2021 Australian Open. With Bianca Andreescu, Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka sharing co-favouritism at +800.
Williams is a proven winner on hard and quick surfaces, having won 13 of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the Australian and US Opens. If Williams enters the tournament healthy, she will be a force to be reckoned with at the first Slam of the year.
Williams to win the 2021 French Open: +1400
Roland Garros has been Serena’s least successful Grand Slam venue, having only won the French Open on three occasions. However, to win any major tournament three times requires an elite understanding of the surface and conditions. Williams has said herself that clay is her favourite surface to play on.
Former French Open champions Iga Swiatek (2020) and Simona Halep (2018) share favouritism for the 2021 French Open at +500. While Williams currently isn’t considered a top 10 favourite, with odds of +1400 to win the tournament.
Williams to win the 2021 Wimbledon Championship: +750
A seven-time champion at the All England Club, bookmakers believe that Wimbledon is the most likely venue for Williams to claim her record tying 24th Grand Slam title in 2021.
Current WTA world number one Ash Barty and reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep are +700 co-favourites to take out the grass court major, with Williams trailing them at +750.
After being cancelled in 2020, the All England Lawn Tennis Club has recently confirmed that the 2021 Wimbledon Championships will take place in some capacity on the ATP Tour next year.
Williams to win the 2021 US Open: +850
If Williams can avoid serious injuries throughout the 2021 season, there is every chance that the US open will be her last major tournament. Allowing Williams to finish her career at her home courts only a couple of weeks out from her 40th birthday.
Williams is currently the fourth favourite (+850) to win at Flushing Meadows in 2021. Two time US Open champion Naomi Osaka sits comfortably as the +675 favourite, while Bianca Andreescu and Ashleigh Barty share second spot at +800.
Williams has been a true champion of tennis, winning titles, overcoming injury and returning compete at the top level after giving birth 2017. No single record will make or break her legacy. However, the 2021 season may be her last real chance to become the equal, or even standalone most successful player in tennis history.
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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Image by: Edwin Martinez