Parker Molloy
September 08, 2014 1:42 pm

On Sunday, Serena Williams defeated Caroline Wozniacki, the former top-ranked tennis player in the world, in the US Open Finals, 6-3, 6-3. In doing so, Williams nabbed her 18th Grand Slam singles title—her 63rd singles title, overall—tying Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth most behind Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), and Helen Wills Moody (19). Williams has now won the US Open in three consecutive years. That’s three in a row, people!

Following the match, Navratilova and Evert presented Williams with a gift of their own: an 18-karat gold bracelet; fitting for their new partner in history.

At age 17, Williams won her first Gland Slam tournament, the 1999 US Open. It’s only fitting that she was able to take home her 18th career Grand Slam victory, such a huge accomplishment, on the familiar hard courts at Flushing Meadows, where she’s won on six occasions. Now 32, Williams remains dominant, having not lost a single set during the tournament.

After some struggles earlier this year, Williams went to Croatia with her practice partner Sascha Bajin. While there, Williams collected herself, realizing that being able to relax was essential to her future successes. Immediately upon her return, she quickly won two tournaments, honing her skills to defend her US Open title.

Following the match, Williams took Wozniacki out for a night on the town, documenting their adventures on Instagram. No two athletes better personify the concept of sportsmanship. Together, they hung out with Joe Jonas (the Jonas Brother), and as Williams promised during her post-match interview, drinks were on her.

After struggling at Wimbledon, the French Open, and the Australian Open earlier this year, having been knocked out in the second, third, and fourth rounds, respectively, it’s wonderful to see Serena Williams back on top of the tennis world. While it’s been 15 years since she first took home that first Grand Slam title, her reaction, her graciousness, and her enthusiasm was indistinguishable from that of her 17-year-old self. A champion in name and in heart, Serena Williams gives us all a reason to smile today.

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