Tennis superstar Serena Williams has just accomplished a major milestone — winning her 100th U.S. Open match. On Sept. 3, she beat her opponent, Qiang Wang of China, besting her 6-1 and 6-0. The match, which lasted just 44 minutes, is now tied for the shortest complete match of the Women’s Tennis Association.
“From when I first started here…I never thought that I would get to 100,” Williams, who played her first U.S. Open match in 1998 at the age of 17, told ESPN of her historic victory. “Didn’t even cross my mind I would still be out here. But I love what I do.”
However, Williams was denied the winning of her 24th U.S. Open, losing to 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu in Saturday, Sept. 7’s women’s singles final game, 6-3, 7-5.
After her 100th U.S. Open win, Williams’ next match, against Ukranian Elina Svitolina in the semi-final on Sept. 5, resulted in a 6-3, 6-1 win for the veteran tennis player.
“Elina is obviously a fighter, she gets a lot of balls back,” Williams said of her opponent before their match. “She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She’s one of those players that does everything really well, so I have to do everything well, too.”
That means that on Saturday, she met Andreescu in the final. Williams also praised Andreescu ahead of their match.
“She’s a great player,” Williams told Fox News. “She mixes things up. You never know what is going to come from her. She serves well, moves well, has a ton of power. She’s very exciting to watch. It’s good. I think it’s great for women’s tennis.”
For her part, Andreescu calls the experience “surreal.”
“It’s a dream come true playing against Serena in the final of the U.S. Open,” the player said to Fox News. “Hopefully, I can just keep the momentum going for the final.”
And with two decades as a star athlete under her belt, Williams finally got her own Wheaties box this year. A longtime honor for accomplished athletes, Williams was grateful it was bestowed upon her. She took to Instagram to share an image of her box:
“In 2001, Wheaties paid homage to a true champion and an icon by putting her on the cover of a Wheaties Box,” she wrote in the caption. “Althea Gibson was the FIRST Black Woman tennis player to be on the box. Today, I am honored to be the second.”
Congratulations to Williams for all of her incredible achievements!